It is said that ‘Shodo’, the art of kanji calligraphy, was brought from China to Japan during the Asuka Period (538 – 710 AD). It was considered an essential part of education amongst samurai and aristocrats. And now it is an artform limited to professionals. Like painting, it also requires a bunch of tools, endless practice and is typically a messy affair. Hanakosumi’s range of ‘Water Activated Paper’ addresses some these issues, making Shodo more convenient.


A brush dipped in water is all you need to practice calligraphy. Water-activated paper has been around for some time now but what makes this product particularly unique is that the strokes don’t fade away with time but are permanent, akin to the ones in ink.

The thickness of the stroke depends on the quantity of water and the pressure you apply. Hence, you get the very same nuance of penmanship that you get while writing with ink on a regular piece of calligraphy sheet, except without the fear of mess and burden of may tools.

Shodo without ink is safer for children, making the product an excellent pick for elementary school classes. Hands won’t get dirty and clothes stay stain free. No need to wash the brush at the end of the session either. The water-activated papers are available online in B4 size inclusive of the white margin around the water activated area.

This little innovation has the potential to break down the barriers and bring Shodo closer to the common folks.