In this beautiful and extraordinary book, Shozo Sato, an internationally recognized master of traditional Zen arts, teaches the Japanese art of calligraphy through the power and wisdom of Zen poetry. Single-line Zen Buddhist koan aphorisms or zengo are one of the most common subjects for the traditional Japanese brush calligraphy known as shodo. Regarded as one of the key disciplines in fostering the focused, meditative state of mind so essential to Zen, shodo is practiced regularly by all students of Zen Buddhism in Japan. After providing a brief history of Japanese calligraphy and its close relationship with the teachings of Zen Buddhism, Sato explicates the basic supplies and fundamental brushstroke skills that youAEll need. He goes on to present thirty zengo, each with: An example by a skilled Zen monk or master calligrapherAn explanation of the individual characters and the Zen koan as a wholeStep-by-step instructions on how to paint the phrase in a number of styles (Kaisho, Gyosho, Sosho) A stunning volume on the intersection of Japanese aesthetics and Zen Buddhist thought, "Shodo" guides beginning and advanced students alike to a deeper understanding of this unique brush painting art form.
Shozo Sato was awarded the Order of Sacred Treasure from the Emperor of Japan for his contributions in teaching Japanese traditions. His areas of expertise include ikebana (flower arranging), chanoyu (tea ceremony), and Japanese theater, as well as sumi-e (ink painting). He is the author of numerous books including "Tea Ceremony, Ikebana," and "The Art of Sumi-e." He was the founding director of Japan House at the University of Illinois, where he is Professor Emeritus and continues to teach Japanese arts. He devides his time between Fort Bragg, California and Champaign, IL.