Drawing kanji! Resources for calligraphy?

Hey all!

Last year on my birthday I got a calligraphy kit from my friends. As kinda of a personal project of mine, I was planning on doing a “Book of Kanji”, where I would draw that kanji and also draw it’s meaning (to practice both Japanese and drawing at once!). However, I seem to struggle a bit to find the best resources for calligraphy, as in, how to properly draw each kinda of stroke.

I have come across some youtube channels and I know Jisho.org has the stroke order (which helps), but I wonder if you guys have anything to share?

Thanks! :smiley:


Whew. Calligraphy is a whole different beast to just writing it with a pen. There’s all kinds of different swishes and flicks you need to do to make the strokes look right. Kinda feel like YouTube is your best bet here, unless there happens to be a calligraphy master lurking in the shadows here.

I don’t even know how to get the right amount of ink on your brush. I had to write a kind of… prayer card thing, not sure what its actual name is, when I was in Japan last month, and it came out legible, but rather un-good. :stuck_out_tongue:


You should be able to find plenty of things demonstrating calligraphy on Youtube. You probably won’t be able to understand the spoken Japanese if you’re a beginner, but you can still see what they’re doing.


I like this channel a lot!

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There’s a free beginner course on Udemy.


That sounds like heaps of fun!
Our local Japanese cultural centre had a calligraphy master come through over new year, so they ran a couple of sessions for people to come in and give it a go. I really enjoyed it. Apparently there is a tradition to write an auspicious kanji for the new year.

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Thanks everyone for the tips! Will definitely take a look at the youtube channel and the Udemy course! :smiley:

I did Kakizome once! While I was learning Japanese in my company, my teacher brought some calligraphy kits and let us draw “monkey” because it was the year of the monkey! It is loads of fun! :smile:

I should preface this by saying that my writing still pretty much sucks, though you can find an example of this in the handwriting thread, but I started out looking for books for 行書 and ペン字
or 筆ペン字 books, since the same principals apply, and it’ll help, in addition, there may be books about 習字 as well.

Finally, make good friends with the character 永 as it has all the fundamental strokes in it, it is a very common practice character.


Hi, I love calligraphy too!

I don’t know if you already know about this. So basically there are 8 different types of stroke you need to learn to be able to write any kanji (Eiji Happou)

Practice writing this particular kanji 永
In this one single kanji alone there are all types of stroke you need to learn. They say if you can write this kanji beautifully then you basically can write any other kanji!

Also, I like this video so much. It teaches all the basic preparation and strokes.

Hope that helps!


Thanks everyone!

That is really really helpful! Now I just need to sit down and practice a lot! :fountain_pen:

I was watching the series on strokes here :

they sell the sheets to practice as well as the kit if anyone is interested.

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Thank you! :smiley:

I’m forgetting it’s name, but there was a really good book at Kinokuniya so I’d suggest going there if you can.

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I don’t have a Kinokuniya here, but if you happen to recall the name of the book, let me know, I can probably get somewhere else :slight_smile:

Kinokuniya is known for having good books. You may need to narrow that down a little. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well the Shodo section is particularly small, but I just can’t remember it. I’ll probably go back there today or tomorrow anyway

Also as an alternative to the traditional brush there are brush pens. I personally bought one from pentel which you can find off amazon, but unfortunately I never really ended up using it and it thinks it’s doing a good job pretending to be a magnet for dust.


Seems that the book was literally just called 書道入門

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