Calligraphy brush unboxing: Ikkyuuen Umihotaru (“Sea Firefly”)

By | April 30, 2024

On a recent trip to Japan I stopped by a calligraphy studio in Kyoto and got a lesson with an expert. I talked about this in detail in this podcast episode here. In that studio I purchased a brush which is not available anywhere but in person, so I thought I would record video showing the “unboxing” of it (it’s technically not in a box, but you get the idea), where I open it up and draw a few strokes.

The brush is manufactured by Ikkyuen (一休園) in 広島熊野 (Hiroshima Kumano) and is named 海蛍 (“umi hotaru” that means “sea firefly”).

While my purpose was not to get too detailed about calligraphy, I do show a few basics like how to hold the brush and how to draw basic horizontal(横画), vertical(縦画), and diagonal(左払い・右払い) strokes.

This is my first attempt to produce a video about Japanese calligraphy (書道), so please feel free to give me any feedback to help me improve the quality of these. If you are interested in more content like this, please let me know in the comments here or on YouTube.

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