Despite a long history of research into the casting methods used for Jinwen in the Yin Zhou period—with a variety of hypotheses suggested to date—the actual methods used remained unclear. In light of this situation, the author has conducted multiple casting experiments with the cooperation of the Ashiyagamanosato Museum for the purpose of elucidating the casting methods used for Jinwen. This paper reports the results of the experiments and gives several preconsiderations against the background of changes in the lettering style used on Jinwen from the perspective of casting techniques.
The results of our experiments conducted revealed that the so-called slip method, in which slip is applied repeatedly using a brush onto a plate buried in a core, most logically answers the questions about the casting methods used for Jinwen. Historically, this method was first suggested by RUAN Yuan of the Qing dynasty; in a sense, our experiments proved the validity of his suggestion after more than 200 years. Based on the success of our experiments in indicating the technical logicality of the burial method, the author also suggests that the casting method used for Jinwen introduced in this paper be named the “slip-plate method.”
The experiment results do not rule out the possibility of other Jinwen casting methods. On the contrary, variations in technique are very likely depending on locations and time periods. During the Eastern Zhou period, some Jinwen letterings deviated from the typical Western Zhou style to show a significant proximity to the Zhuanshu style. These changes in lettering style suggest the historical background of changes in the casting method used from the slurry-plate to the model-carving method.
Based on the above findings, further detailed examination of variations in Jinwen lettering styles is awaited in order to obtain detailed knowledge about the dissemination of the lettering culture during the Yin Zhou period along with the actual prevailing conditions. This will be an extremely important and significant research theme not only with respect to the history of the technique, but also for the histories of calligraphy and palaeography.
Focusing on Zhenmupings buried in tombs of the Houhan period, this paper identifies the characteristics of the calligraphic styles found on Zhenmupings in line with an archaeological indication that finds two groups among them. The paper also examines the background that produced the two groups of Zhenmupings.
Zhenmupings are classified into two types based on their location in the tomb, addressor, and shape: the Henan type, and the Shaanxi type. In line with this approach, the author classified Zhenmupings into these two groups and analyzed them from the perspectives of calligraphic style, letter shape, letter placement, and lettering style. The results indicated the existence of the two groups in Zhenmupings also in terms of calligraphy, with a significant difference between them found in the use of formal or informal lettering styles. Since calligraphers of Zhenmupings are considered to have been able to manage more than one lettering style, it is reasonable to presume that they recognized each of the two lettering styles as an independent style.
In addition, the results of integrated examinations of overall elements that differentiated Zhenmupings into the two groups indicate that the differentiation occurred during the period around the reign of Huandi, with the possibility that the popularity of the spirit of Guoli played a role as a background factor in facilitating the differentiation.
This paper looks at the significance of Zhenmupings as clues to an understanding of the recognition of lettering styles by the people in those periods and as materials to understand changes in spirit during the later Houhan period. Thus, the paper has significance from the perspective that it suggests the materialistic value of Zhenmupings, to which less attention has been paid traditionally.
Chu Suiliang (596-658) is considered to be one of the three greatest calligraphers of the Chutang period following Ouyang Xun and Yu Shinan, as confirmed in a series of Shuluns, which regard him as a successor of Oufa and Yufa.
However, among his representative works of the Kaishu Memorial, the change in calligraphic style from the Meng Fashi Memorial (642) to the Fang Xuanling Memorial (ca. 652) and Yanta Shengjiaoxu/Shengjiaoxuji (653) is too drastic to be interpreted simply as something he inherited from his predecessors. This paper examines the possibility that the change is partly attributable to multiple overwriting, whereby extra-fine tentative lines were drawn before overwriting them with lines of basic thickness and adding corrections for finishing touches.
The Fangxuanling and Yanta Shengjiaoxu/Shengjiaoxuji memorials, Chu Suiliang's later works, have some complex dots and strokes that seem unlikely to have been drawn in a single stroke. These traces appear in specific patterns in the same parts of the same letters or in similar dots and strokes of different letters, which are largely classified into partial corrections, and the overwriting of extra-fine dots and strokes with those of basic thickness. The cases showing all the three traces, namely the extra-fine dots and strokes, the overwritten dots and strokes in the basic shapes, and corrections for finishing touches; the cases with nearly half of the dots and strokes of a letter showing traces of multiple overwriting; and the large number of cases where the letter shapes are reasonably regarded as the results of multiple overwriting. All suggest the possibility that these traces are not the results of simple corrections, but the letters were intentionally prepared step by step.
Chu Suiliang is a historical master of calligraphy who is said to have inherited the calligraphic styles of his predecessors and developed his own style in his later years. This paper examines the richly articulated dots and strokes, as well as decorative and florid style in his later works mainly from the perspective of technique.
This paper looks at how the calligraphic styles of Cai Yong (132-192) were evaluated in the Tang period and examines their contribution to the history of calligraphy in the Tang period based on descriptions about his calligraphic styles in documents, mainly in Shuluns in the Tang period.
The research revealed a significant number of mentions in Tang and Song documents that regard Cai Yong as the Shudanzhe of model texts in the Han and Wei periods, with three common characteristics discovered among many of the existing models. In Shuluns in the Tang period after the publication of Shuduan by Zhang Huaiguan, Cai Yong wins established appraisal as a master of calligraphy who excels in paleography, with some renewed evaluation from new perspectives, including special comments about his ability to handle more than one calligraphic style.
These evaluations of Cai Yong's calligraphic styles emphasize their close relationship with the styles of emperors, Xuanzong in particular. It is suggested strongly that Cai Yong played a role in supporting the development of various new calligraphic styles in and after the Shengtang period through his evaluation as a pioneer of calligraphers who use more than one style. Accordingly, it is concluded that the calligraphic styles of Cai Yong in the Tang period played a symbolic role that gave authority to the new calligraphic styles that arose during and after the Shengtang period, including those used by emperors.
This paper is significant in that it found through evaluations of Cai Yong's calligraphic styles how they influenced Tang emperors in choosing their calligraphic styles, and that it detected the existence of a turning point in choosing calligraphic styles in the Tang period.
In recent years, an increasing number of Hojo images have been made public in web data archives. This paper examines a method of, as described below, and its practicability in processing properly a group of archived image data using presently available techniques, thereby enhancing the efficiency of comparative research of Hojos, and thus contributing to the development of research into the history of calligraphy.
First, an identifier is given to each of the works listed in Hojos to create source data. The same identifier is given to images of the same work in different materials in order to achieve source control in detecting all the reproduced images of the same work in different materials in a single action.
Second, a mechanism is devised to recognize the line breaks in the images, line breaks are given to Hojo images semi-automatically, and an identifier is given to the respective lines. By relating these line identifiers to the above-mentioned work identifiers, it is possible to cut out the image of the target work from the overall image data and display it.
Third, an arbitrary string of letters is selected and the mechanism detects images of identical parts among different materials using image-processing technology. This makes it possible to reference different versions of the same work listed in different Hojos without adding text information to the images.
Despite the necessity of further technical improvement regarding the referencing of different versions as described in step three, a series of experiments conducted to establish the above-mentioned method suggested the possibility that image processing technology can be developed as a tool to examine more detailed differences found among different lines of Hojos.
HORIBE Shoji referred to Shitae-gire in his bibliographical note to Kōi Wakan Rōeishu saying that “its text line cannot be identified.”
Following this, KOMATSU Shigemi described in Kohitsugaku Taisei that Shitae-gire “is supposed to have close relevance with Kanke shoden-bon despite its peculiar texts.” However, Komatsu cited very few examples to support this view, and without any mention as to the position of Shitae-gire among various existing copies of Wakan Rōeishū said to have been transcribed during the Heian period. There is no preceding research that details fully the reality of Shitae-gire.
Having an opportunity to research materials that are not listed in the aforementioned Kōi Wakan Rōeishū and Kohitsugaku Taisei, the author conducted a renewed examination on the positioning of Shitae-gire among other copies of Wakan Rōeishū by focusing on the presence or absence of poetries, their arrangement, and individual texts and titles. The results led to new findings, which include cases that run counter to earlier opinions.
Among various existing copies of Wakan Rōeishū said to be transcribed during the Heian period, Shitaegire is presumed to have had a certain influence on the copies made in and after the Kamakura period. This is evidenced by the peculiarity of the texts in Shitae-gire and presence of poetries specific to Shitaegire. On the other hand, the examination results do not support the view that Shitae-gire has “close relevance with Kanke shodenbon.”
Traditionally, copies of Wakan Rōeishū have been classified into two lines: the Kumogami-bon line and the Detchō-bon line. The results of the current research and examination found some inconsistencies in this classification method.
The text of Senjimon is said to have a close relevance with calligraphy textbooks. Also, it is one of the important books imported into Japan in ancient times. There are copies of Senjimon that were published during the Muromachi period that were used as prototypes of calligraphy textbooks. During the Edo period, publication of Senjimon expanded on a wave of prosperity in the printing industry. The research results of publication records based on two publication catalogs in the mid-Edo period, Wariincho and Kaihan Onnegai Kakihikae, brought some macroscopic views on the issue. The analytical data based on Wariincho records indicate that the number of Senjimon-related books published in Japan during the Kyoho and Bunka eras totals 108, which represents around 1.41 percent of all the books and around 12.26 percent of all the calligraphy textbooks listed in the catalog. On the other hand, the analytical data based on Kaihan Onnegai Kakihikae record show that the number of Senjimonrelated books published in Osaka, which totals 50, represents around 1.04 percent of all the books and around 16.13 percent of all the calligraphy textbooks listed in the catalog. These Senjimon-related books include various versions of Senjimon other than Shūkei Senjimon. They can be classified by their functions in those intended for calligraphy, reading, both for calligraphy and reading, and calligraphic dictionaries. When the nationalities of the source books are focused upon, the two catalogs show similar results: 24 percent or 22 percent are of Chinese origin, and 76 percent or 78 percent are of Japanese origin. The two catalogs show similarity in terms of the number of Senjimon published, their functions, and the countries of origin of their source books. Although the volume of existing materials on publication is not sufficient enough, results of similar research will show an overview of the publishing situations regarding Senjimon, which can be also utilized as fundamental research on bokujōs of Senjimon itself.