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Subject:Folding Calligraphy Book
Posted By: Alexander May Thu, Nov 28, 2019 IP:

Hi Everyone,

I have this Japanese folding book with 4 characters on each page. It is missing its front cover and does not have a colophon or seal.

I'm wondering what's the purpose for this? And what are the text written on it?

It's quite long and the attached photos are only about a quarter of the total book.


Subject:Re: Folding Calligraphy Book
Posted By: I.Nagy Sat, Nov 30, 2019

The folding book is the "Thousand Characters Text"
千字文 Qianziwen (Chinese) or Senjimon (Japanese)
It is a character text book for basic learning of characters and calligraphy. It contains thousand often used characters composed into a long poem of which each verse is 4 characters long. Each two verses rhyme so they are easy to remember. It is using a calligraphic style created by the famous Chinese calligraphy master Wang Xizhi (303-361)
There are hundreds of these kind of calligraphy learning aids on the market old and new.
I copy here the translation of the first two verses from your picture,

Diligence at start indeed is fine,
completeness at ending, dully grand

Glorious works as the foundation,
no limit to one's reputation

With regards,

Subject:Re: Folding Calligraphy Book
Posted By: Alexander May Sat, Nov 30, 2019

Thank you I.Nagy. Very informative.

I can indeed use this to practice calligraphy

Alexander | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |