Order The Japanese Way of the Artist

Order The Japanese Way of the Artist
Click on the image above to order The Japanese Way of the Artist. Including extensive illustrations and an all-new introduction by the author, The Japanese Way of the Artist (Stone Bridge Press, September 2007) anthologizes three complete, out-of-print works by the Director of the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts. With penetrating insight into the universe of Japanese spiritual, artistic, and martial traditions, H. E. Davey explores everything from karate to calligraphy, ikebana to tea, demonstrating how all traditional Japanese arts share the same spiritual goals: serenity, mind/body harmony, awareness, and a sense of connection to the universe.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Japanese Way of the Artist

The Japanese Way of the Artist:
Living the Japanese Arts & Ways, Brush Meditation, The Japanese Way of the Flower

By H. E. Davey

512 pp
6 x 7.75"
135 B&W illustrations and photographs
ISBN 978-1-933330-07-5

Now in a single volume, three essential works on Japanese aesthetics, spirituality, and meditation.

About Living the Japanese Arts & Ways: 45 Paths to Meditation & Beauty
“Davey uses words with clarity and simplicity to describe the non-word realm of practicing these arts-calligraphy, martial arts, tea ceremony, painting-and the spiritual meaning of such practice. . . . A wonderful complement for practitioners of meditation, especially Zen.”
Publishers Weekly
The Michi Mission: From chado—“the Way of tea”—to budo—“the martial Way”—Japan has succeeded in spiritualizing a number of classical arts. The names of these skills often end in Do, also pronounced Michi, meaning the “Way.” By studying a Way in detail, we discover vital principles that transcend the art and relate more broadly to the art of living itself. . . . Books in the Stone Bridge Press series Michi: Japanese Arts and Ways focus on these Do forms. They are about discipline and spirituality, about moving from the particular to the universal.

The three works anthologized here are essential to understanding the spiritual, meditative, and physical basis of all classical Japanese creative and martial arts. Living the Japanese Arts & Ways covers key concepts—like wabi and “stillness in motion”—while the other two books show the reader how to use brush calligraphy (shodo) and flower arranging (ikebana) to achieve mind-body unification.

In the Michi series, H. E. Davey explores the mind/body connection that lies at the heart of traditional Japanese arts and culture. Mr. Davey is Director of the Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area.

You can order The Japanese Way of the Artist here:

About Japanese Calligraphy: By H. E. Davey

Expanded attention, deeper relaxation, increased focus and resolve . . . shodo students have a chance to achieve lasting spiritual transformation through the classical art of Japanese calligraphy (shodo). Simple step-by-step exercises let beginners and non-artists alike work with brush and ink to reveal their mental and physical state through moving brush meditation.

Kanji, or "characters," used in
both Japan and China, have transcended their utilitarian function and collectively can serve as a visually stirring piece of fine art. Shodo allows the dynamic movement of the artist's spirit to become observable in the form of rich black ink. In shodo, you can sense both the rhythm of music as well as the smooth, elegant, and balanced construction of architecture. Many practitioners feel that the "visible rhythm" of Japanese calligraphy embodies a "picture of the mind"--and calligraphers recognize that it discloses our spiritual state. This recognition is summed up by the traditional Japanese saying: Kokoro tadashikereba sunawachi fude tadashi--"If your mind is correct, the brush will be correct."

Some Japanese calligraphers and psychologists have written books on the examination of our personality through calligraphy. Just as Western companies have employed handwriting analysts to help them select the best individuals for executive posts, the Japanese have traditionally expected their leaders in any field to display fine, composed script. This stems from the belief that brush strokes reveal the state of the body and subconscious mind--its strengths and weaknesses--at the moment the brush is put to paper. It has also been held that the subconscious can be influenced in a positive manner by studying and copying consummate examples of calligraphy by extraordinary individuals. Japanese tradition teaches that by using this method, we can cultivate strength of character akin to that of the artist being copied. Since shodo is an art form, it's not strictly necessary to be able to read Chinese characters, or the Japanese phonetic scripts of hiragana and katakana, to admire the dynamic beauty of shodo. Within Japanese calligraphy, we find essential elements that constitute all art: creativity, balance, rhythm, grace, and the beauty of line. These aspects of shodo can be recognized and appreciated by every culture.