23

I think it's read right-to-left as 魚{うお}がし 'fish market'. The kana が and し are written as hentaigana, variant forms of kana that are usually no longer used. This is が: This is し: (Images taken from benricho.org)


13

It looks to me like [舞]{まい} (dance)...


12

This text is written left-to-right because the person in the picture is facing to the left. There was a rule that when you put some text (chinese poem, haiku, etc.) in a portrait, the first line must be determined by the orientation of the face. When the person was facing to the left, the text had to be written from left to right. Some sources say this rule ...


12

A recent guideline from 文化庁 clearly says this distinction is not important in most cases. See page 53 of this PDF (常用漢字表の字体・字形に関する指針(報告)(案)) (2016): As for 木, you can also use はね (). Some recent elementary school teachers are extremely strict on this kind of thing, which has caused much controversy. Outside school, very few adults care about this. If ...


11

「趣味{しゅみ}の風{ふう}りん」 a wind-bell as a hobby This phrase seems only a sales message, not someone's wishes. The main purpose of the hanging is to have the bell ring by the wind's breeze, not to write wishes on it. I'll tell you about the characters written on the hanging. There are roughly three styles of script to write kanjis in handwriting, especially by a ...


11

There are five distinct scripts in that picture, all reflecting forms of the Chinese writing system. From left to right, we have: oracle bone script (甲骨文{こうこつぶん}), bronze script (金文{きんぶん}), seal script (篆文{てんぶん}), and then modern handwriting (traditional and Japanese simplified). Oracle bone script is the earliest attested form of the Chinese script. One ...


11

「はね」is what I always hear it referred to as. A web search finds lots of sources to back this up: http://www.bunkei.co.jp/bunkei-app/soragaki/common/images/function.jpg http://www.y-adagio.com/public/standards/tr_fnttrm/fig7_7.gif http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%AD%86%E7%94%BB etc


10

There are quite a few old (17th century) letters on this page which use the digraph ゟ as ligature of よ and り. For example see the fifth line from the left of the following letter, which reads 「家来之者方ゟ可申」. As @ZhenLin points out, it is not too far a stretch of your imagination that ゟ comes from joining よ and り in vertical writing. All that is really lost is ...


10

I think that 義理 "social obligation" is a neutral term when used to describe a fact, e.g. 義理のお父さん "father-in-law", but whenever it is intended to convey some sort of emotion, 義理 always has a negative (e.g. burdensome) connotation. (For example, 義理チョコ, the chocolate every woman is obliged to give to their male coworkers/boss for Valentine's day). Either your ...


9

This looks like it isn't really related to foxes, but is オタ魂 written as one character. (I would read it オタ[魂]{こん}.) オタ is the abbreviation of オタク otaku 魂 meaning "soul" or "spirit" So, loosely something like ... "gamer's soul"? Edit. As @choco points out in the comments, オタコン refers to Otacon of the Metal Gear series.


7

The characters are almost certainly represent Tanabata (七夕), and are written in the fluid calligraphic style known as "grass style." The idea of bamboo here probably comes from the use of bamboo during the Tanabata festival. From the Wikipedia page on Tanabata: In present-day Japan, people generally celebrate this day by writing wishes, sometimes in ...


7

It looks to me like 「[七夕]{たなばた}」 in vertical cursive. It does not look like 「[竹]{たけ}」, which means "bamboo". Here is what 七夕 means: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanabata


7

It seems to say (thanks to @brokenheadphones & @Shoko) 手のなる方へ = 手の鳴る方【ほう】へ alluding to 『鬼さんこちら、手のなる方へ』, a phrase used in tag-like game with a blindfolded 鬼 (the person who is "it"). (See 目隠し鬼 on kotobank.jp.) I suppose you roll the die and depending on what comes up you should [blank] dance (踊) sing (唄) drink from the small cup (壹合【いちごう】) drink ...


7

The position of a dakuten is not as strict as you think. It has to be placed near the top right corner, but it may be moved or rotated according to the font designer's choice. Here are some examples of voiced hiragana rendered with various fonts installed on my PC: When you practice handwriting, please use shapes of a 教科書体 font (the blue one above).


6

The kanji 主 means "master (of a slave)", "master (of a pet)", "owner", "governor", etc., but it does not mean he is an expert of something. If you simply want to say "grand master (of martial art)", let's use 師範 (shihan), which is a simple and nice term for that concept. It can be used also as an honorific name suffix, just like "sensei". So we get 石師範, ...


6

For the bottom picture, the writing indicates the sizes. From small to large: 壹{いち}合{ごう} Archaic form of modern 壱合, itself the fancy form of 一合. This means "one gō", where a gō is an old unit of volume, equivalent to 180.39ml. Apparently in Chinese, this traditional unit of measure has been rejiggered (pun intended) to equal 100ml. By comparison, the ...


6

It's kanji written in a different style. I don't know enough to identify exactly which style, but it looks like a type of 草書体 (you can compare different styles here) The characters are: 鳩ヶ峰國分寺跡


5

Those are: 「[寿]{ことぶき}」 (felicitations, longevity, etc.) and 「[無]{む}」 (nil, naught, etc.) See here for the cursive writing for 「無」: http://image.search.yahoo.co.jp/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=&p=%E7%84%A1+%E8%8D%89%E6%9B%B8 EDIT: The following website looks pretty good though I naturally have not checked everything on it. It gives you an idea of what ...


5

The character is 「曽」. [木曽]{きそ}[桧]{ひのき}


5

An average Japanese person -- however that should be defined -- can indeed read an amount of 草書-style calligraphy, but it may not be a large amount because it is usually not taught in school. An average person as myself just picks it up from his exposure to handwritten Japanese around him like in his house, school and even on the street. He learns the 草書 ...


4

くずし is obviously from 崩し. My understanding is that 行書/草書 refers to only (semi-)cursive kanji. It's used for Chinese documents written in cursive styles. According to this article and others, くずし字 usually refers to cursive Japanese sentences which are found typically in documents in the Edo period and contain both 行書/草書 kanji and cursive kana (including ...


4

Depending on the style of calligraphy, creative liberties may be taken, and the stroke rules aren't as iron-clad as people like to think. But in this particular case, the reason the final character looks quite different from your expectations is that it's actually closer to the older form that 会 replaced: 會. (You will see this character towards the bottom of ...


4

On a per-character basis, generally not. Calligraphic styles are relatively standardized across the Sinosphere. The only real exceptions to this are where distinctly nationalistic elements appear when looking at the broader text as a whole: Simplified Characters, in the case of Chinese Hangul, in the case of Korea Kana and certain Japanese simplifications ...


4

It is 篆書 (Mandarin //tʂʷan ʂu//), and more precisely it is 小篆 (Mandarin //ɕʲɑu tʂʷan//). 篆 means write, seal 書 means write/writing, books etc. 小 means tiny, small. There exists another kind of 篆書 is called 大篆 (大 "big, huge"). The Chinese written in the top-right corner are 枝頭覓春. 枝 branch, twig 頭 head, top 覓 find, search, seek, get 春 spring (the season) ...


3

It says 「[陶]{とう}びな [元光作]{げんこうさく}」. That means "Ceramic Hina Dolls Produced by Genkou" The ひ-to-び change is by rendaku. In case anyone is unfamiliar with Hina-Matsuri, Wiki has it.


3

As @droooze says in the comment section, this is a cursive rendering of 立 (see here or here).


3

It is an older style of formal writing that today no one practically use except in those traditional circles. The content is an entrance permission to an ikebana school, which probably retains the traditional master-and-apprentice style tutoring. My reading is as below (most of your decipherment looks valid to me): 入門  許状 メリアン、フレツチヤー殿 今般華道就 入門許 □□□件(?) ...


2

Depending on the particular martial art, 師傅 or 師父 could be appropriate. These are the kanji / hanzi spellings of the common title shifu used to refer to one's martial arts instructor in Chinese (related Wikipedia page). The second spelling has overtones of fatherliness as well, if that's a sense you'd like to add (or avoid).


2

My understanding is that Japanese was traditionally written in a top-to-bottom, right-to-left order (縦書{たてがき}). Your understanding is perfectly correct. It seems to be based on the preference of the author aimed at aesthetic effect. However, this work of 掛{か}け軸{じく} a hanging scroll is made of not only the characters of 直指人心見性成佛 but also the portrait of 達磨{...


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