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12 votes
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Understanding Basho haikus in difficult calligraphy

The problem is that the writing is not only old and cursive, but using a lot of obsolete variant kana (hentaigana) that you'd no longer see in the modern documents. Using hentaigana supported by ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
12 votes
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Sharp vs rounded (tomed) vertical stroke in kanjis

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 ...
naruto's user avatar
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11 votes
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Is top-to-bottom, left-to-right writing order common in Japanese calligraphy?

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 ...
naruto's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is there a reason why the 濁点【だくてん】( ゙)are placed below the stroke at ぐ and で as opposed to the other hiragana characters?

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 ...
naruto's user avatar
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9 votes

What does this wish stroke mean?

「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 ...
user20624's user avatar
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7 votes

Is this an old, alternate or incorrect way of writing 考?

Glyphwiki has as an alternative glyph of 考󠄂, so it looks like more than one person write the character that way. I have never seen that, but perhaps it might not be so rare in calligraphy? (Bear in ...
Yusuke Matsubara's user avatar
7 votes
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What does it say on this drinking game?

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 ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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6 votes
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How to express "Stone Master" as a compliment

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)", ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes

What does it say on this drinking game?

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 ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
6 votes
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Does these Kanjis with "supposedly" English alphabets inside exist?

The kanji are "real" in the sense that anyone who can read Japanese would recognize what they are supposed to be. 齋, 藤, 愛, and 結, respectively. However, the correct way to write them does ...
Leebo's user avatar
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6 votes
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Rei 令 handwritten variant

The glyph 令 has, generally, three distinct regional forms: The type with マ and a dotted bar is used in mainland China, the type with マ and a horizontal bar is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam, ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
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6 votes

Help me identify this kanji on my knife box

It's 御 (generic honorable prefix) written in cursive style. See picture here: http://www.fan.hi-ho.ne.jp/chikusui/newpage18.htm
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes

Understanding Basho haikus in difficult calligraphy

As a complement to answer above, the old Japanese writing has thrown another monkey wrench into your way to conquering the Japanese literal world: Kuzushiji. So, you get to make sure aren't any of ...
dgg32's user avatar
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5 votes

Squareness of kanji characters

Was making circles with early day tools too clumsy? Yes, exactly. Kanji derived from oracle bone script used in ancient China, and it was indeed difficult to make circles on bones or turtle shells. ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes

Does these Kanjis with "supposedly" English alphabets inside exist?

Supplementing Leebo's answer, the real one using a close enough font looks as follows. Most probably it will be recognized as a female name (read e.g. Saito Ayu).
sundowner's user avatar
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4 votes
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What exactly does くずし字 refer to?

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 ...
naruto's user avatar
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4 votes
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What are these kanji? (Image)

I think the words on the left side are 水間寺主 東光坊春聽 ("the head of Mizuma-dera temple, Toukou-bou-shuncho"). Mizuma-dera's official website says 今春聴東光 had been the head of Mizuma-dera from ...
rei727's user avatar
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4 votes
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Is this an old, alternate or incorrect way of writing 考?

考(father) has similar meaning and pronunciation with 老(old men in family) in its original usage in Chinese. It's written like or in 《說文解字》. The ㄎ part is a cane or walking STICK supporting an old ...
Charles Jie's user avatar
3 votes
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Meaning of Calligraphy Phrase "sumi tsugi"

Wikipedia has a list of calligraphy terms in which sumi tsugi is 墨継ぎ(すみつぎ)とは、文の途中で筆に墨を付けること。 Which means dipping the brush into ink a second time while writing one sentence. The 日本国語大辞典 confirms ...
By137's user avatar
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3 votes
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How strictly does calligraphy typically abide by stroke rules?

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 ...
Matt's user avatar
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3 votes
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How to read this sign and what it means?

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 ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
2 votes
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Difference between the words kakemono and kakejiku

At least in Japanese, 掛軸(かけじく) is a type of 掛物(かけもの). 掛軸 only refers to hanging scrolls. Note the kanji 軸 ("axis/shaft"), which refers to scrolls in this context. 掛物 is much less common, but it is ...
naruto's user avatar
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2 votes

How to express "Stone Master" as a compliment

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 (...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
2 votes
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Can’t identify the kanij in 人の上には〇てぬぞ

As @droooze says in the comment section, this is a cursive rendering of 立 (see here or here).
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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2 votes

Is top-to-bottom, left-to-right writing order common in Japanese calligraphy?

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 ...
user20624's user avatar
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2 votes

How To read this Calligraphy?

I agree with Broccoli Forest, basically they are "Saint (First character seems to be 圣/聖) Joseph " and "Mary." Japanese language used more of those Kanjis dated back though -- like 「アメリカ」 used to be ...
Carl H's user avatar
  • 143
2 votes

Meaning and calligraphy style of two kanji?

翔鶴 - it's apparently the name of a Japanese battleship. The meaning is soaring and crane. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_aircraft_carrier_Sh%C5%8Dkaku I think the writing style is called 楷書. ...
Yusuke Matsubara's user avatar
2 votes

Squareness of kanji characters

This is not an ease-of-writing problem. In fact, drawing circles has gotten easier over the years, but somehow the ease of drawing circles corresponded to a decrease in the appearance of them. The ...
dROOOze's user avatar
  • 9,120
2 votes
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Help translate handwritten paintings (calligraphy)

It is a traditional cursive text that reads: 水仙の 處を 得た(𛁠)り 庭の 隅 It seems to be meant as this haiku by 正岡子規: 水仙も処を得たり庭の隅 A narcissus finally finds its place — a corner of yard but I have no idea ...
broccoli forest's user avatar

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