A Detailed Explanation of Every Brush Stroke

Rie Takeda go into details in her book on the proper flow of doing calligraphy, making it easier even for beginners to visualise each movements needed.

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Visualising each brush stroke

Nick: Was it just a case of you thinking, all I have to do now is transfer my knowledge and I guess, your program maybe that you use for workshops and whatnot, into the book? Or did you spend a lot of time thinking about the book and thinking about each chapter?

Rie: Well, I thought that it would be a lot easier to finish the book, because I thought I just needed to correct and reorganise. But the fact was far more difficult and complex, because I needed to dive into that word and really imagine if I was a total beginner, how would I learn that art form without the video, but just through image and words.

Where did you learn the art form? Purely from the book, a long time ago.

Nick: Yeah,  we've been lucky to have video for 20 years.

Rie: That was the hardest part, to clarify every movement. And also, because I use a lot of the key energy movement combined with the brush movements -- that part alone was so hard to describe, so everybody has a clear image, how the brush is reacting to a particular energy movement. But in the end, it turned out to be really nice.

Nick: I remember you did a webinar for my community, and you explained the energy movements, so you drew the Kanji. But then afterwards, you'd say this is how the brush flows, here's the energy. So yeah, articulating that would have been a challenge, but I'm sure you found a way. 

So that's part of the challenge, finding a way to articulate or express ideas. But yours is also in words but visually. So that was challenging.

Rie: That was a good process for me also -- it really crystallised the element. And that was a good process.