Shodo is the common romanization of the Japanese word "shodou", which is composed of two kanji: the first, SHO means "writing" and is used in the verb "kaku", "to write". The second, DOU, means "road" or "way", and by itself is pronounced "michi", meaning "street".

Shodo means "the way of writing". It is the art of Japanese calligraphy. Like any Japanese art, its students must first be concerned with developing kata, codified patterns, before trying to show their own unique style.

Shodo involves the writing of both the hiragana and katakana syllabaries, as well as the Chinese kanji characters. It takes many years to reach even moderate proficiency in any of the many styles of shodo.

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