Close up view of the artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll
In Japanese, this word means innocent, or one with no knowledge of good and evil. It literally means "without mind".
This is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: "No mind, a mind without ego. A mind like a mirror which reflects and dos not judge." The original term was "mushin no shin", meaning, "mind of no mind." It is a state of mind without fear, anger, or anxiety. Mushin is often described by the phrase, "mizu no kokoro", which means, "mind like water". The phrase is a metaphor describing the pond that clearly reflects it’s surroundings when calm, but whose images are obscured once a pebble is dropped into its waters.
This has a good meaning in conjunction with Chan / Zen Buddhism in Japan. However, out of that context, it means mindlessness or absent-minded. To non-Buddhists in China, this is associated with doing something without thinking. In Korean, this usually means indifference.
Use caution and know your audience before ordering this wall scroll. Obviously, this is best if you are using the Japanese meaning in the context of martial arts of Buddhism.
Authentic Japanese Calligraphy by Japanese Master Calligrapher Michiko Imai
Japanese Master Calligrapher Michiko Imai. Shown here crafting her artwork which follows a 1600-year Japanese tradition.
(Imai, Michiko) was born and raised in Nara, Japan. She began her studies of Calligraphy at the age of four at Baikou Calligraphy School. When Michiko was 25 years old, she received a membership to the Tenshin Kai (calligraphy society) and her life as a calligrapher began. Michiko progressed to the next level, becoming a member of the Cho-ko Guild which is the most prestigious calligraphy society in Japan. During her apprenticeship, she taught calligraphy and studied the art of Japanese silk scroll making (hyougu) at Mizuno Hyougu-ten.
A sample of her work: Bushido - Kaisho style
In 1998, Master Calligrapher Michiko Imai was awarded the highest rank in Japanese Calligraphy of Shihan. She currently holds a guild licence for teaching both calligraphy and instructing teachers to teach calligraphy.
Michiko Imai is among the few to have won multiple best of category awards in national competitions (Japan). Her work has been displayed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Osaka Municipal Museum Of Art, Nara City Museum Of Art and Kyoto Municipal Museum Of Art.
In Addition to being a calligrapher, she is also an "artisan artist" (Hyougushi). Ms. Imai now resides half of the year in Japan and the other in Boston.
It should be noted that Master Imai signs her artwork with the "art name" of (Beautiful Cliff/Mountain). So this is what you will see just before the red signature stamp on her calligraphy pieces.
Kana Sosho painting combination.
Kana style Japanese calligraphy
Single-Kanji Love calligraphy in Kai-Gyosho style.
Completely handmade, yet affordable...
If you've shopped much for Japanese calligraphy, you know that it generally starts from $200 and up. In fact, I can show you a catalog full of Japanese calligraphy priced at $2000 and up (someone sent it to me, thinking that I'd like to blow $12,000 on a wall scroll).
So how can we offer authentic Japanese calligraphy for such a low price? The short answer is that I work with people who are more interested in the art than getting rich. Master Michiko Imai has given us a very special opportunity to offer her artwork at a price that most people can afford.
The second part of the equation is the fact that we are building all of our own wall scrolls by hand in our workshop in Beijing.
All of this means you get high-quality artwork with no "middle man markup".
Master Imai, holding a Japanese calligraphy class in Boston.
The scroll that I am holding in this picture is a "medium size" 4-character wall scroll. As you can see, it is a great size to hang on your wall. (We also offer custom wall scrolls in larger sizes)
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days. Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form
of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also
attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over
6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers
in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt
such a feat.