The kanji, or "Chinese character," depicted in all three illustrations is do (a.k.a. michi), which means "a road" in its more utilitarian usage and "the Way" in more spiritual terms. Many traditional Japanese arts that are practiced for spiritual realization end with the character for do. Examples are shodo ("the Way of brush calligraphy") and budo ("the martial Way," in other words, martial arts). In the illustration above, do is brushed using kaisho, gyosho, and sosho script styles. Moving from left to right, each script becomes more and more abbreviated and abstract.
You can learn more about how shodo functions as an ancient system of writing, moving meditation, and abstract art, by visiting our sister blog Art of Shodo at http://artofshodo.blogspot.com/.
Living the Japanese Arts & Ways, the book that this blog is devoted to, is now out of print. However, the entire book has been reprinted in The Japanese Way of the Artist. You can purchase Davey Sensei's latest book The Japanese Way of the Artist, which covers Japanese calligraphy in detail, through Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Way-Artist-Living-Meditation/dp/1933330074/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229545807&sr=8-1
Want to find out more about the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts Integrated Shodo & Meditation program? Just drop by www.senninfoundation.com.
You can read more about The Japanese Way of the Artist and the upcoming Crazy for Kanji at www.stonebridge.com. Stone Bridge Press focuses on books about Japanese culture that will appeal to many readers of this blog.