|Helvetica Medium in Letraset - remember that?|
A functional administrative script introduced to Japan from China, tensho was inscribed into stone, wood, bone or tortoise-shell, and carved into seals, before brush and ink took over. Its no-nonsense sans-serif uniformity has none of those characterful flicky bits or drying-out strokes you get with brushes. In the same spirit, Helvetica is an efficient Swiss mid-twentieth century design meant for neutral public uses.
|'Bird' in tensho by Taki Kodaira|
|'Home' in kaisho by Taki Kodaira|
In life class that evening I'm asked if I've changed my name as I'm initialling everything R.H. It stands for right hand. The body of a calligraphic character is harder for me to read than the body of the model.