Japanese Calligraphy Challenge

The other day, I was asked to write/draw an Australian name, using Japanese calligraphy by one of my sister-in-laws. Actually, her son wanted me to write his newborn baby boy’s name.

Some years ago I created a Japanese calligraphy for my sister-in-law’s grandchildren but I have not practised calligraphy much since then. So I was not sure if I could draw the name well. But I decided to do it for them even though I am an amateur calligrapher.


I took my old brush and some good quality paper and started to practise. It took a long time to get the hang of it. I practised in the early morning and the daytime over the recent weekend. But I could not produce something I was happy with.

So my practice went into the night … until my arm got tired. I started to get worried because the paper I had were running out.


At the end of the day, I was not still happy with what I was doing. I knew that it was difficult to produce something “perfect”, but at least I wanted to create something special for my law’s son.


The next day. I was looking at what I did the day before and I had to admit that I could not make any progress. Then after a long while, an inspiration came to me when I was about to give up. It whispered to me “CHANGE THE BRUSH”.


There it is! After I changed my old brush to a lighter version, my writing got smoother and effortless. I was happy with the result after about five times of practice.

Above, the calligraphy says T***E. I do not want to mention the real name since this is an online journal. For this name though, it was difficult to find exact sounds. But I figured the name out from a Naming Dictionary in Japanese. T***E consists of three Japanese characters. The first letter represents “precious”, the second one says “embracement” and the last one’s meaning is “flow”.

When I have to come up with the idea for naming from English to Japanese, I care about the meanings of each Kanji character as well as their sounds. My interpretation might not be perfect but I would like to think that it is good enough.


I decided to create another calligraphy for another one of my sister-in-laws’ grandsons for an extra gift. When I wrote/drew a calligraphy for C**N some years ago, I did it with a formal/classic style of calligraphy. But this time, I changed not only the Japanese characters but also toward a flowing and artistic style. I have practised classic style of calligraphy at first but I realised that I am no longer good at it.

Anyway, there are two Japanese characters in C**N. The first one represents “happiness” and the second one says “gorgeous or elegant”. C**N’s name is supposed to be strong and masculine because it is a name for a boy but I think a boy can have an elegant name, too.

So that is it! I wish my sister-in-law and her son will like the calligraphy and I hope I was helpful for my family.

Best of luck,


2 comments on “Japanese Calligraphy Challenge

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