By Ishikawa Kyuyoh
Translated by Waku Miller
First English edition, 2011.
324 pages, hardcover.
Originally published in Japanese in 2005 by Chuokoron Shinsha as Sho: Hisshoku no uchu o yomitoku.
2,619 yen / Discount rate*: 1,832 yen (inclusive of tax)
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You have in your hands an unprecedented account of the history of East Asian calligraphy. Here is a book every bit as accessible and fascinating for noncalligraphers and for individuals unversed in kanji as it is for calligraphers and for kanji-literate readers. The author, Ishikawa Kyuyoh, speaks of “the drama of the stylus” [brush and chisel], and he brings that drama alive by positioning it in compelling context: historical and spiritual, as well as artistic and cultural.
Ishikawa has been a leading light in the calligraphic firmament for more than 40 years. He has continuously highlighted new expressive possibilities through work that is at once avant-garde and firmly rooted in calligraphic tradition.
As interpreted by Ishikawa, calligraphy’s spiritual orientation engenders a powerful creative tension. “The calligrapher’s tension,” he insists, “is part of the spiritual awareness that is inseparable from the act of writing. It is the unrelenting self-scrutiny of the calligrapher who would fulfill a commitment akin to a holy vow.”
From the translator’s introduction
From this volume’s blurbs
—Takashina Shuji, former director, National Museum of Western Art
—Tsutsumi Seiji, president of the Saison Foundation, poet, and author