- ASSOCIATION FOR CALLIGRAPHIC STUDIES
- 書学書道史研究 (ISSN:18832784)
- vol.2012, no.22, pp.95-112, 2012
One of Aizu Yaichi's 會津八一 sobriquets was Konsai 渾齋, which was based on a tablet for which Wu Changshuo 呉昌碩 wrote the calligraphy. In other words, Aizu had a deep interest in Wu Changshuo. In this article, I accordingly examine the relationship between Aizu and Wu Changshuo.<br> When one examines works by Aizu of which the date of composition is known, one finds works from the Taisho era that were produced on the basis of the layout of paintings with poetic inscriptions by Wu Changshuo. Further, some of his postwar poetic inscriptions for paintings consisting of <i>waka</i> 和歌 poems have been executed with innovative ideas by incorporating, for example, the layout of works by Wu Changshuo. When considered in this light, it could be said that from his forties in the Taisho era until his later years after the war Aizu regarded Wu Changshuo's works as an important object of consideration when producing his own works.<br> In June 1949 Aizu had a talk at the head office of the publishing house Chuo Koronsha 中央公論社 with Qian Shoutie 錢痩鐵, a pupil of Wu Changshuo who was visiting Japan at the time. During their talk, Aizu put forward the view that true originality cannot be born from only imitating calligraphers of yore. In the past, calligraphers had spent the greater part of their training in copying the works of past masters. But Aizu flatly rejected this mode of practice to be seen in some calligraphers which was overly focused on imitating people of yore.<br> When one reads this dialogue from 1949 it is evident that Aizu had recognized that originality is not born solely from imitation through the works of Wu Changshuo, who had devoted his life to the copying of the stone-drum inscriptions (<i>shiguwen</i> 石鼓文). In other words, according to Aizu, it was important to assimilate the classics, but at the same time a stance unshackled by them was necessary when composing one's own works. Wu Changshuo was for Aizu an object of consideration not only when producing his own works, but also for establishing his own ideas about the production of works of calligraphy.