Shodo: Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy

A course by RIE TAKEDA
Calligrapher, Artist, and Teacher. Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
Joined October 2020
, Calligrapher, Artist, and Teacher

Calm your mind and find inner peace by understanding the philosophy and art of traditional Japanese writing

  • 100% Positive reviews (50)
  • 2401 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
Shodo: Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy

Calm your mind and find inner peace by understanding the philosophy and art of traditional Japanese writing

  • 100% Positive reviews (50)
  • 2401 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: English
  • Level: Beginner
  • 16 Lessons (2h 13m)
  • Available from the app
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
  • Unlimited access forever
  • Certificate upon completion of the course

Japanese calligraphy, known as Shodo, is rich in its history and form. In many cases, a single character can represent an entire concept, making it akin to a painting. Rie Takeda combines the calligraphy art form with mindfulness, and guides you to discover the essence of Shodo.

Rie shows how this practice can connect body, mind, spirit, and brush to flow through the ink and paper. Learn how to gravitate between the practical aspect of calligraphy and its spiritual component. As Rie firmly believes, this process allows your inner peace to translate into anything you create.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Introduction to Shodo
  • U3
    U3. First Stages
  • U4
    U4. Step by Step with "Evening Moon"
  • U5
    U5. Final Stage Finishing the Piece
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

Begin by getting to know Rie. As a seasoned calligrapher and artist, her focus lies on teaching her students to concentrate on their inner Qi (energy flow) with every brushstroke. Discover the wide range of influences and inspirations which have shaped her style.

Learn the background and essentials of Shodo, and how it intertwines with mushin, meditative clarity of the mind. Rie teaches three of the essential calligraphy styles and techniques. Then she guides you through the different materials used in Shodo, giving you recommendations on what and how to get them.

Before painting, learn to release tension in both the body and mind using guided meditation and becoming aware of your inner Qi. After warming up physically and spiritually, practice basic Shodo brush strokes while continuing to channel your energy flow from your body, through the ink, and onto paper.

Next, draw the calligraphy characters that represent “evening moon.” Rie guides you step by step through the setup and technique. Then, practice seisho, which is clear, transparent calligraphy that must be done with mushin, a clear mind. Each step has its own (Japanese) name and procedure, which Rie meticulously unravels.

Create a stamp with your name in katakana, Japanese syllabary, to sign your work. Adjust the final touches by fine-tuning the composition, and mounting your work. Rie wraps up the course by reflecting on everything that was covered and the meditative processes practiced. Finally, she encourages you to continue exploring and experimenting with the art of Shodo.

What is this course's project?

Create a piece of Japanese calligraphy inspired by nature and design a stamp with your name in Japanese to sign your work.

Who is it for?

This course is for anyone interested in calligraphy art, ink painting, or mindfulness meditation.

What you need

No previous experience or knowledge of calligraphy and Shodo is necessary.

To complete this course, you need a calligraphy brush, an ink stone, an ink stick, ink liquid, and calligraphy paper. At the beginning of the course, Rie describes the materials and gives you recommendations on where to find them.


2401 Students
50 Reviews
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A course by RIE TAKEDA

Calligrapher, Artist, and Teacher

Rie Takeda’s journey with the art of Shodo began at the age of five under the creative guidance of her grandmother, a distinguished GAYU calligrapher. She went on to study at the Gayu SHODO Calligraphy School, which laid the foundation for her artistic career.

She currently works as a freelance artist and professional calligrapher in the UK, Europe, and Japan. Her work has been displayed in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the globe. Rie also gives workshops and group lessons of her unique approach to calligraphy which combines Shodo and mindfulness.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences
    • What Will We Do in the Course?
  • U2

    Introduction to Shodo

    • Shodo and Mushin Clear Mind
    • Styles and Techniques
    • Utensils and Materials
  • U3

    First Stages

    • Warming up Body and Mind
    • Basic Brush Movements
    • Foundational Strokes
  • U4

    Step by Step with "Evening Moon"

    • Demonstrations and Presentation of Kanjis
    • Technical Exercises to Create the YUGETSU
    • Fine-Tuning Balancing Up
    • Seisho Clear Calligraphy
  • U5

    Final Stage Finishing the Piece

    • Mounting
    • Calligraphy on the Mounted Paper
    • Calligraphy Your Name and Creating the Stamp
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Shodo: Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy

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Shodo: Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy. A Calligraphy, and Typography course by RIE TAKEDA

Shodo: Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy

A course by RIE TAKEDA
Calligrapher, Artist, and Teacher. Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
Joined October 2020
  • 100% Positive reviews (50)
  • 2401 students