While the number of practitioners of the traditional art of brush calligraphy is in decline, high school clubs that practice the art have been enjoying popularity. From 2007 to 2008, a popular manga series titled “Tomehane! Suzuri Koko Shodobu” attracted many readers, and in 2010 a film called “Shodo Girls: Watashitachi no Koshien” became a hit. This year, a national high school competition for calligraphy called International High School Shodo Exhibition attracted more than 16,000 entries. Some of the really strong schools’ clubs have as many as 50 members. Behind the reason for the popularity are that the “calligraphy performances,” at which teams, writing out large characters to musical accompaniment is so much fun.
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