Japanese Calligraphy Tools

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Japanese Calligraphy tools

There are four basic items used in Japanese calligraphy called “Four treasures of study”.


A writing brush is made with hair of horse, sheep, weasel or other animals (sometimes mixed). A brush is chosen depending on the manner of work and calligraphers' preference.


Black ink used in Japanese calligraphy is made by rubbing an ink stick on an ink stone and adding water. The hue of black is varied by rubbing time and power. Ready-made ink is also often used for calligraphy works.

Ink stone

The ink stone is a smooth stone with a flat-bottomed hollow and a well at one end. The ink stick is rubbed against the stone in the hollow with pure water, and the ink so produced is then kept in the well. For ready-made ink, using an ink pot is more common.


There are mainly two kinds of calligraphy paper made in China and Japan. The quality of calligraphy paper differs from other stationary paper. It's basically very thin and absorb more ink than Western paper. There are both hand-made and ready-made paper made in China and Japan.