Dr Haruhisa Handa uses an enormous brush to create his calligraphy. Explore the British Museum to find other examples of calligraphy and the tools used. Look at examples from Japan (Room 93), China (Room 33), the Islamic world (Room 34) and Europe (Room 46).
Go to Room 93 and find this beautifully crafted writing
box (see gallery below). Look carefully at the container and think about what kind of a person might have owned or used one of these. The quality of the craftwork reflected the status of the owner. There is an ink stone in the middle similar to that used by Dr Handa. Go to Room 33 and find Case 35. Look for ink-cakes from China (see gallery) in a variety of shapes. Ink-cakes were made from wood soot mixed with animal oil and glue, which was moulded into a cake and dried. The cakes were ground by hand on an inkstone and mixed with water to make the ink.
If you want to see another brush from the Ming dynasty make your way up to Room 95 and look in Case 57 (see gallery). Go to Room 34 and find Case 7, look at the different styles of script. How are they similar and different to the others you have found? Can you spot any calligraphy on any of the other objects in the gallery?
Go to Room 46 to find examples of European calligraphy. Use your finger – or maybe even another part of your body, like your nose – to trace the shapes created. How would you describe them?
If you want to find out more about family activities, visit the Families Desk in the Great Court.