What we need for Shakyo (by calligraphy)

In the previous article, Shakyo experience, I explained what Shakyo is. I’m now going to introduce you to what we’ll need to do prepare in order to do Shakyo.



Since Shakyo, copying sutra tesxts, is required to write a series of small letters, the brush needs to be thin. There are some brushes made specifically for Shakyo.



Shakyo paper has a certain format. As sultra texts are written vertically, the paper has lines ruled vertically and at regular intervals in advance so that the characters copied by hand can be written in a straight line.




We can use ready-made black ink, but it is still best to use hand-made ink by rubbing an inkstick on an inkstone.


Other calligraphic tools

It’s also better to prepare a paperweight to hold the paper so that it does not move while we are copying sutra texts. We should also have an underlay to put underneath the paper so that the desk is not stained with ink.




A high level of concentration is required during Shakyo, so it is best to avoid noisy places and places where other people are moving around. Shakyo is formally conducted in seiza sitting style (Seiza is a way of sitting as shown in the picture below). However, sitting at a table on a regular chair is allowed, when available.


Seiza sitting style