East Asian calligraphy

Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese calligraphy grouping

The East Asian tradition of calligraphy originated and developed in China. The countries that use East Asian calligraphy are China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

East Asian calligraphy
The traditional Chinese character for "writing" or "book".
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese書法
Simplified Chinese书法
Vietnamese name
VietnameseThư Pháp
Korean name
Japanese name
Hiraganaしょどう (modern)
しよだう (historical)


In calligraphy, paper, ink, brush, ink stone, paperweight, and a desk pad are used.


The special paper used for calligraphy, is made of rice, paper mulberries, bamboo, hemp, etc.


The ink is made from soot and binders. It comes in sticks, and must be rubbed with water on an ink stone. Pre-mixed bottle inks are now available. Pre-mixed bottle inks are for practicing.


The body of the brush can be made of bamboo, or rare materials like red sandalwood, glass, ivory, silver and gold. The head of the brush is made of the hair of animals, like the wolf, rabbit, deer, chicken, duck, goat, pig and tiger, etc.

Ink stoneEdit

The ink stone is used to rub the solid ink stick into liquid ink.


They are used to weigh down paper. Paperweights come in several types, and they are collectible works of art.

Desk padEdit

The desk pad is a pad made out of felt. Students use these desk pads, which are printed with grids on both sides. When placed under the paper, the grid helps to make the words the right size, and ensures correct placement.

Notable calligraphersEdit

Almost all traditionally educated men (and sometimes women) in East Asia are good in calligraphy. The most famous are:


Cry for noble Saichō (哭最澄上人), written by Emperor Saga for Saichō's death

See also [1]



Buiseonrando, which was written and painted by Kim Jeonghee


There are several word styles in calligraphy. Some of them are; Seal Script (often called small seal script), Clerical Script (sometimes called official, draft or scribal script), Semi-cursive Script (also called running script), Cursive Script (sometimes called grass script), Regular Script (often called ‘standard script’), Edomoji, Munjado, and Kao.

Other websitesEdit