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I saw this drawing at a friend's house and wondered what it means; unfortunately the friend has no idea. Another friend suggested it's hiragana script, hence the question here: can you please tell me if it's japanese or not and what's the meaning of it?

closed as off-topic by Chocolate Dec 14 '18 at 3:51

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  • The first character looks sort of like 仲. – Aeon Akechi Dec 14 '18 at 1:29
  • Is this supposed to be 仲よい? – Omae wa mou shindeiru Dec 14 '18 at 1:30
  • 1
    It's 仲よし I think. – jogloran Dec 14 '18 at 3:21
  • I agree, probably 仲よし. I'm just looking up some info on 書道 (Japanese calligraphy) to confirm. – ConMan Dec 14 '18 at 3:33
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    It's probably 仲よし (or maybe 仲よく.. but not 仲よい) – Chocolate Dec 14 '18 at 3:53

As we've been discussing in the comments, this is a form of 書道{しょどう} - shodou, or Japanese calligraphy. In particular, it's one of the forms where the artist takes some liberties with how they write the characters, resulting in a more cursive, artistic piece but unfortunately also making it a little harder to read if you're not familiar with the way such writing is done.

That said, it's almost certainly one of two (related) words:

  • 仲よい{なかよい} nakayoi, meaning intimate or close (in terms of friendship)

  • 仲よし{なかよし} nakayoshi, meaning an intimate or close friend

In both cases, the naka part is written in kanji (Chinese script used in Japanese), and the other part is written in hiragana (the main "syllabric" script in Japanese). My money is on it being nakayoshi, but I'm definitely not a calligraphy expert.

There is also an artist's signature and seal in the corner, but the photo quality isn't good enough to make them out.

  • Syllabic (or syllabary), not "syllabric". – jogloran Dec 14 '18 at 23:29

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