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Heart of the Brush by Kazuaki Tanahashi
Heart of the Brush: The Splendor of East Asian Calligraphy by Kazuaki Tanahashi

This comprehensive and accessible introduction to the history and art of calligraphy as it’s been practiced for centuries in Asia offers the possibility of appreciating it in a hands-on way. It works as a guide for the beginner hoping to develop an appreciation for Asian calligraphy, for the person who wants to give calligraphy-creation a try, as well as for the expert or afficionado who wants nothing more than to exult in lovely examples of this art. After proving a brief overview, Kazuaki Tanahashi invites you to give it a try yourself, giving guidance for materials, and then instruction in the basic strokes. He then provides examples of 150 characters, from action to zen, with history and development of each, famous examples, stroke sequences, and the author’s interpretation of the character in styles that range from traditional to modern. It’s a calligraphy course in a book, but it’s also a book for hours of meditative browsing.

"There are several books on how to do East Asian calligraphy, but Heart of the Brush by Kazuaki Tanahashi is clearly the best. His explanations are clear and lively, his multitude of brushwork examples are thorough and generous, and he demonstrates how to do each character stroke by stroke. In addition, he makes the availability of different scripts an exciting opportunity rather than an overwhelming burden. In effect, Tanahashi invites us into many aspects of the dynamic and wide-ranging world of calligraphy, and we can understand why it has been considered the highest of all art forms." —Stephen Addiss, author of The Art of Haiku and How to Look at Japanese Art

"Heart of the Brush is many things, and all of them astonishing: a rich historical compendium; a subtle object of contemplation; an inspiring instruction manual; a profound spiritual practice; a true artist's testament; a stunning work of art. And it's become a companion, as well. The book now lives on my work table, and every morning I turn at random to a different character, taking a moment to study the form and meaning, and then letting it inspire me throughout the day." —Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being

"I have always felt the power of a single ideograph by a master hanging in a zendo, but I understood little else. This book is a gift, illuminating the approach, the meaning, the possibility, the actor and the action; the stroke, the mark, the dancer and the dance. We become rooted in calligraphy's history and then carried beyond that—smack into the present moment. Kaz Tanahashi and his work are a transcultural treasure." —Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones and The Great Spring

390 pages. Paperback.

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Product Code: S-6864


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