Japanese Writing

There are three character sets used in Japanese writing: Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana. In school, children learn about 200 characters each year. By the time they graduate from high school, they should know more than 2000 characters: each character having multiple readings and compounds formed with other characters.

Japanese calligraphy, called Shuji or Shodo, is written with a brush. Works of calligraphy or other types of art are often signed using stone seals called Rakkan. Many different styles of calligraphy, called Shotai, have developed over the centuries. Three common styles or scripts in Japan are Kaisho, Gyousho, and Sousho. As with martial arts, there are many styles of writing and many schools. Typically a dojo style of study is used with ranks being assigned depending on skills learned.


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