Japanese characters are based on "kanji" characters introduced from
China around the 5th century.
These characters has been written with ink-filled brush since then.
Of course, these are common to not only Japan but also China and Korea which use kanji characters.
To write characters is for practical use, but to write beautifully also
It is the art of calligraphy.
The works have various style.
The characters are basically wriiten vertically.
Some works are written many characters in a sheet, but some works are written only one character.
Some works are written in standard style of character, but some works are written in cursive style.
We can find some modern works like abstract picture
In main museums of art we can
find few works of calligraphy.
Instead we can find old works in many museums of history.
Usually modern works are sometimes exhibited for a limited time only in several galleries.
We Japanese learn and exercise the calligraphy at the second half of
elementary school and junior high school.
But not all pupils can write beautifully.
Usually we are enough to write with pencil, mechanical pencil or
But when we attend a wedding or funarel, we write our name with sumi-ink on the envelope filled with contribution or condolence money out of politeness.
Some people write a letter with sumi-ink.
Of course, several people use the sumi-ink made on an inkstone.
Recently covenient "Fudepen" also are widely used. "Fude" means "brush".
It is an ink brush containing sumi-ink, and we can always write like ballpoint pen.