Designing with Kanji: Japanese Character Motifs for Surface, Skin & Spirit

Overview

Japanese kanji characters combine meaning with beauty and thus offer a unique medium for artistic expression. But if you don’t know the language, how do you find characters that say what you want and are not just a "kanji cliché"? You can start here. This attractive book has over one hundred thirty kanji presented in a simple format for easy use. For example:

Post the kanji for kenshin on a mirror to remind ...

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Overview

Japanese kanji characters combine meaning with beauty and thus offer a unique medium for artistic expression. But if you don’t know the language, how do you find characters that say what you want and are not just a "kanji cliché"? You can start here. This attractive book has over one hundred thirty kanji presented in a simple format for easy use. For example:

Post the kanji for kenshin on a mirror to remind you of your "devotion" to your studies.
Embroider bussho on a meditation cushion to help you reflect on "Buddha nature."
Tattoo the name Zatoichi on your upper arm as homage to your favorite blind swordsman hero.
Show your "love" with a card decorated by ai.

Pick from Warrior, Heart, Nature, and Spirit categories to find the characters that express your sentiments best. Each entry includes historical or etymological background, often with unusual "kanji facts." Then trace, photocopy, or even stencil the clear letterforms—displayed in several different kanji "fonts"—to get just the effect you want. Included is an introduction to kanji, writing tips, and a special supplement on Zodiac kanji (great for birthdays!).

"People are always fascinated by different cultures, and we continue to be awed by the wonderful ways in which East and West have mingled in culture, lifestyle, design, art, and aesthetics. We hope this book will enrich your own experience of kanji in art and design and help you bring your creative gifts to bear in fresh, new ways."—from the Authors’ Introduction

Shogo Oketani and Leza Lowitz are writers and translators who live in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781880656792
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Leza Lowitz is an award-winning writer and translator, and Director of Sun and Moon Yoga Studio in Tokyo.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 5
The Way of the Warrior 11
Warrior 12
Bushi 13
Bushido 14
Samurai 15
Shogun 16
Honor 17
Pride 18
Gentleness 19
Duty 20
Justice 21
Fighter for Justice 22
Strength 23
Resistance 24
Rebel 25
Energy 26
Courage 27
Loyalty 28
Virility 29
Revenge 30
Ronin 31
Yakuza 32
Invincible 33
Patriotism 34
Sword 35
Satsujinken 36
Katsujinken 37
Kamikaze 38
Ninja 39
Fighter 40
Musashi 41
Rashomon 42
Zatoichi 43
Furinkazan 44
Wind God 45
Thunder God 46
Fire God 47
Determination 48
Iron First 49
Yojinbo 50
The Way of the Heart 51
Heart 52
Harmony 53
Peace 54
Humility 55
Self 56
Beauty 57
Grace 58
Truth 59
Wisdom (1) 60
Generosity 61
Morality 62
Clarity 63
Rejuvenation 64
Devotion 65
Emotion 66
Passion 67
Compassion (1) 68
Happiness 69
Kindness 70
Joy 71
Wish 72
Safety 73
Gay 74
Song 75
Poem 76
Independence 77
Quest 78
Tranquillity 79
Sex 80
Silence 81
Imagination 82
The Way of Nature 83
In/yo 84
Earth 85
Air 86
Water 87
Fire 88
Mountain 89
River 90
Ocean 91
Moon 92
Sun 93
Flower 94
Wind 95
Rain 96
Light 97
Darkness 98
Lotus 99
Cat 100
Hawk 101
Wolf 102
Thunder 103
Forest 104
The Way of the Spirit 105
The Way 106
Nothingness 107
Buddha 108
Buddha (2) 109
Bodhisattva 110
Compassion (2) 111
Kannon 112
Amida Buddha 113
Maha Vairocana Buddha 114
Yoga 115
Liberation 116
Emptiness 117
Good Karma 118
Wisdom (2) 119
Nirvana 120
Bodhidharma 121
Zen 122
Buddha Nature 123
Magic 124
Demon 125
Soul 126
Spirit of the Word 127
Dream 128
Love 129
Eternity 130
Enlightenment 131
Hell 132
Heaven (Pure Land) 133
Wabi 134
Sabi 135
Spirit 136
The Animals of the Twelve Zodiac Signs 137
Rat 138
Ox 138
Tiger 138
Rabbit 139
Dragon 139
Snake 139
Horse 140
Sheep/Ram 140
Monkey 140
Rooster 141
Dog 141
Wild Boar 141
Bibliography 142
Index 143
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2004

    Wonderful

    This is the stuff I have been looking for for months. A wonderful book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2009

    This is what you're looking for!

    There are lots of books out there about kanji, but this one is simple. It shows the Japanese symbol and what it means. Lots of variety! Perfect for those looking for tattoo designs!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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