Calligraphy Plus Imagination: Exercise Manual, Brush and Breathing Calligraphy, Vol. 1.


82 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations
ISBN 0-9693974-2-9
DDC 745.6'19956





Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson is assistant director of libraries at the University of
Saskatchewan, and président de la Troupe du Jour, Regina Summer Stage.


These two volumes are intended to accompany the author’s earlier
Oriental Calligraphy and Painting: The Three Bs—Body, Breath and Brush
(1989). All three publications focus on Kodama’s nontraditional method
of breathing and relaxed approach to the technique of oriental
calligraphy. Prefaces to the two volumes are multilingual (English,
French, Japanese, Chinese, and German). The instructions are in English
and French and vary somewhat in their detail and emphasis for each

Calligraphy instruction books tend to be lavishly illustrated, often
with photographs of posture and brush positions. The illustrations in
these volumes are very tentative and sketchy in comparison. The
calligraphic Roman alphabet included as a point of reference for
students may be useful but it is not introduced very systematically.
Although the first volume of this set is intended as a manual for
beginners and the second for those familiar with oriental calligraphy,
the instructions are virtually identical; Calligraphy Plus Imagination
is by far the more useful book.


Kodama, Tomoko., “Calligraphy Plus Imagination: Exercise Manual, Brush and Breathing Calligraphy, Vol. 1.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024,