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Secrets of the Brush: Life Lessons from the Art of Japanese Calligraphy is the first new book in years from award-winning author, artist, and sensei H. E. Davey. Mr. Davey is the author of The Japanese Way of the Artist, a widely admired how-to book that lets even beginners try Japanese calligraphy. An internationally acclaimed shodo calligrapher and ink painting expert, his new work covers the 20 years he studied under a venerated Japanese master, Kobara Ranseki, the late recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun. Expanding on the meditative emphasis of The Japanese Way of the Artist, Secrets of the Brush shifts away from technical instruction to focus on life altering aesthetic and spiritual principles.
It uses an innovative format mingling biography, autobiography, and Japanese art history, with shodo and meditation instruction. Secrets of the Brush explores Zen-like life lessons the author absorbed over two decades. Combining over 50 years of experience in Japanese arts with themes from old Asian texts, cult movies, punk rock, and more, H. E. Davey explains rarely understood Eastern principles that will positively change your life. These concepts increase skill in Asian arts, including calligraphy, painting, martial arts, tea ceremony, and meditation. Even fans of Western art can use this book to transform their craft.
It's packed with incredible new artwork from one of the Western world's leading exponents of shodo. Full-page illustrations and a comprehensive glossary complete this guide to life and an ancient Japanese art.
"Demonstrating the Japanese aesthetic of elegance (shibumi), Davey uses words with clarity and simplicity to describe the non-word realm of practicing these arts-calligraphy, martial arts, tea ceremonies, painting-and the spiritual meaning of such practice . . . Davey is thoroughly steeped in Japanese culture and able to respectfully introduce and explain how those sensibilities are inextricably woven through the arts. As an American who has been accepted within traditional Japanese arts realms, he can offer a helpful cross-cultural lens on what terms and behaviors mean."
Publishers Weekly review of Living the Japanese Arts & Ways
"H. E. Davey combines a remarkable technical facility in the Japanese art of the brush with a deep understanding of its spiritual profundities. His book offers a marvelous practical introduction to Japanese calligraphy as well as insights into the essence of this art. It is a unique and fascinating presentation of a little-known art of self-cultivation."
Dave Lowry, author of Sword and Brush, on Brush Meditation: A Japanese Way to Mind & Body Harmony