The chinese brush is the most important out of the four treasures of the study. It symbolizes the extension of mind and body of the calligrapher. In this capacity it is much more than just a writing tool. Chinese calligraphy, also called Chinese brush calligraphy or “shufa”, is a high art form unique to China.
Calligraphy From China
In China, it is said that brush is to be chosen according to a rule of four virtues. These are:
SEI 斉: The brush tuft ought to be well arranged, the hairs should be symmetrical, not uneven, and should not be broken or have split ends. They must be of uniform shape and quality.
SEN 尖: The brush tip must be sharp and pointy. There should be no irregularities in symmetry or thickness of hair of the tuft tip. This is especially important for brushes used for writing that requires precision.
KEN 健: The virtue of “ken” suggests that the hair of a good quality brush (especially at the tuft base) should be flexible and responsive. No damaged hairs should be visible.
EN 円: The brush tuft needs to be well rounded and symmetrical in its cross section. While looking at the brush from its tip, the tuft should form a perfect circle. Also, with the hairs released, the tuft should form a perfect cone shape with a flat top.