Calligraphy Competition 2017

The Calligraphy Competition is open for all students from grade 1 to year 12. This year, the theme is 平和, peace.


平和, peace, is an important value in modern Japan. The first kanji, 平, means flat, even, and unimpeded, with no interruptions such as conflict. The second kanji, 和, means harmony. Together, these kanji could be interpreted as “unimpeded harmony” – peace. This second kanji is also used in words meaning Japanese style (such as 和風 (Japanese style) and 和食 (Japanese food)), indicating how important harmony and peace are to Japanese people.

Some lesson ideas are:

  • Meaning of 平和, including your own haiku or senryu (5/7/5 syllables with theme)
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (広島平和記念公園) and Peace Park (平和公園) in Nagasaki
  • Symbols of peace in Japan, including flora and fauna
  • Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

(If you wish to see the furigana for those words, please see the “forms and further information” section below.)

Feedback and comments from Judge

 What did the winning students do well? What calligraphy skills did they exhibit?


まず、大きな字で 元気よく 書いてあるもの

次に 字が右肩上がりの バランスよく 紙の真ん中に書いてあるもの。

最後は 止め、はねができているもの。


Firstly, I felt that the larger characters were written well with emotion.

Additionally, the balance of the rising strokes was well done, as was the positioning of the characters in the middle of the paper.

Lastly, it was good to see the end of each stroke and flicks on the characters were well done.






I was pleased to see the characters were neatly written using a dark pencil.

Furthermore, there were no obvious signs of erasing on the work.

Lastly, each column of writing was neatly divided.

What can students focus on to improve next time?


下敷きに線が引いてあるものを使うと 習字紙にすけてみえるので、字を中央に書くことができます。

なければ 紙を直接折って線をつくることはできますが、紙に凸凹ができるので、字の仕上がりがあまりきれいではありません。

 一つの学校だけでしたが、すべての毛筆が とってもきれいでしたが 残念なことに2度書きをしていました。はっきりわかるものは すべて除外しました。きれいに書くことは だいじですが、それ以上に その一瞬、一回の筆運びをいかに気持ちよく、元気よく かけるかが 書道の醍醐味だと思います。なぜわざわざ筆と墨で書くのかを 生徒さんと一緒に 考えてみることは いいことだと思います。


Through using a mat or underlay that has a grid beneath the calligraphy paper, students are able to centre their character better.

If this is not possible, students may directly fold the calligraphy paper. However this may cause unevenness in the characters during the calligraphy process resulting in an inadequate piece.

While it was beautifully written, one school’s work showed signs of re-tracing characters. Unfortunately, entries where retracing was obvious were not judged. While neatly drawing the characters is important, I believe the feeling and vigour in each individual stroke is the most important and enjoyable part of calligraphy. I feel that it is important to discuss with students as to why we go so far as to do calligraphy with a brush and ink to truly understand the concepts involved, which will in turn help with the drawing process.


濃い鉛筆で あまりとがっていないほうが、太く濃い字が書けます。

消しゴムは できる限り使わず、一つ一つ 段落を確認しながら 書くと きれいに書けます。

こちらも 2度書き(カラーリングのようにしてあるもの)の作品がありましたので、削除しました。

The use of blunt pencils meant that characters often came out dark and thick.

Preferably students would avoid using an eraser, instead carefully checking and neatly writing each individual line.

The pencil section also had evidence of re-tracing characters (similar to colouring in), so these entries were not judged.

Other comments

今年は、みなさん 書道の紙をつかっての作品、前向きな姿勢がみえました。

I was able to see positive attempt in using calligraphy paper  from everyone.

Miho Araki

Rules for both Brush and Pencil divisions 2017

Please note that you may enter either or both pencil and brush calligraphy divisions.
Max entries: 6 entries per category per school, per division
Cost: $4.00 per entry (payable by EFT)
No illustrations: specified character/s and first name only on the page
Entry name sheet: stapled/pasted on the back of the student’s calligraphy work; found in the document at bottom of this page
Closing date: Tuesday 19th September 2017
Prizes: Every entrant will receive a certificate.
The judge will award 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in each category.
Medallions and certificates will be awarded to all prize winners.
Each 1st prize winner’s school will receive a trophy.

Brush division 2017

categoryrequired scriptnotes
Primary years 1&2heart, spirit (kokoro)
Primary years 3&4peace (hei)
Primary years 5&6mutual ((o) taga (i))
Secondary years 7&8自由freedom (jiyuu)
Secondary years 9&10平和peace and harmony (heiwa)
Secondary years 11&12世界world (sekai)

Instructions: Please note: Calligraphy materials can be purchased at art suppliers or Japanese bookshops

Paper: hanshi is preferable. Size of hanshi is close to 24cm x 33cm (or A4) size

Brush: calligraphy brushes

Ink: bokuju is preferable (black)

Name: Entrant’s first name only is to be written vertically in brush in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Please see the sample in the document at the bottom of this page.

Judging criteria: Balance, shape and neatness of strokes & character(s).
(Students won’t be judged by quality of paper or ink)

Please also see the common rules above.

Pencil division 2017

CategoryRequired script: only RED partsNotes
Primary years 1&2みなさんに こころをこめて ありがとうCopy highlighted scripts
Primary years 3&4みなさんに こころをこめて ありがとうCopy highlighted scripts
Primary years 5&6みなさんに こころをこめて ありがとうCopy highlighted scripts
Secondary years 7&8皆さんに 心をこめて ありがとうCopy highlighted scripts
Secondary years 9&10皆さんに  7 syllables  5 syllables/Student’s Name in Hiragana or KatakanaCreate own haiku starting with the given words. Write own name in Japanese.
Secondary years 11&125 syllables 7 syllables 5 syllables /Student’s Name in hiragana or katakanaCreate own haiku starting with the given words. Write own name in Japanese.

Instructions: Write with a 2B lead pencil.
Students should write in handwriting style, NOT in minchotai or gothictai (printed style).   This means sa, ki, fu and ri should not be joined.
Avoid using erasers. If it is necessary to erase something do not leave marks on the paper. Do not use liquid paper for corrections.
Tracing is not permitted.
Ask students to check their spelling and grammar before completing their final draft as the emphasis is on calligraphy, not writing content.

Judging criteria: Balance, shape and neatness of handwriting
Use the samples as a model and write the calligraphy vertically on the official entry form.
NB. Entries will only be accepted on the official entry form.

Please also see the common rules above.

Application process

  1. Fill in the online form at the bottom of this page. This year, the forms are combined.
  2. You may pay via PayPal, or choose “pay offline”, whereby you will receive a Tax Invoice for your school via email.
  3. Fill in the hard copy of name sheets.
  4. Attach name sheets to students’ original work.
  5. If you didn’t pay via PayPal, pay by Electric Fund Transfer (with remittance advice via email) to:
    Account name: Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of Victoria Inc. (or JLTAV Inc.)
    BSB: 033 034
    Account number: 61 1599
    If you are paying from your personal account, please write your school name in the reference section of EFT. Note: We are no longer accepting cheques.
  6. Post the students’ work:
    JLTAV Inc. (Pencil Calligraphy Competition)
    LPO 8157 Monash University, Clayton 3800
    or to:
    JLTAV Inc. (Brush Calligraphy Competition)
    LPO 8157 Monash University, Clayton 3800

LATE APPLICATIONS and NON MEMBER entries will not be accepted.

Forms and further information

For forms, more information and sample calligraphy, please see the following document:

Please note: If it says Bookings are closed for this event below, please login using the link above. There is no limit to the number of entries we receive.


Bookings are closed for this event.