Suzuri, the indispensable in Japanese life-style2013.06.25

Do you know Suzuri?
Suzuri is an tool that indispensable in Japanese life-style.
Now we introduce you about Suzuri!

1. What is Suzuri?

Suzuri is the inkstone. It is a tool to grind an ink-cake. The name “Suzuri” is derived from Japanese word “Sumi Suri,” means “to grind an ink-cake.”
Suzuri is one of the Four Treasures of the Study(the paper, ink brush, ink-cake, Suzuri) in Japan. Suzuri is an indispensable tool of Japanese calligraphy, and Japanese calligraphy is an indispensable art in Japanese life-style.

SuzuriPhoto by Kanko*

2. How to use Suzuri?

Suzuri is made by stone and shaped round or square. One side of Suzuri is deeper, called the sea, and the other is shallower, called the hill.
When you grind an ink-cake with Suzuri, you should put some drops of water on the hill. Grind the ink-cake softly, using the whole hill. When the water became a bit sticky, add some drops of water and repeat grinding.
To grind the ink-cake is not difficult, but it takes time. If you think it’s bothersome, you can use already ground ink. You can get ground ink at stationer’s shop or the depertment store. However, the ink you grind has profound colour and scent that brings your mind peace.

SuzuriPhoto by k14

3. When Japanese people use Suzuri?

In Japan, Japanese calligraphy is one of the required subjects in the elementary school. So every Japanese who has finished his/her compulsory education has his/her own Suzuri.
Japanese people use Suzuri in daily living.
For example, on ceremonial occasions, you have to write message in Japanese calligraphy. In Japan, you should bring gift money in both happy and sad event, and you should write name or message on wrapping.
For happy event, you can grind the ink-cake as usual. However, for sad event, you should grind it pale. There are some reasons why you should use pale ink. Such as, because the sudden death, people can’t grind the ink-cake thoroughly, or the tear make ink thinner.

As we introduced, Suzuri is very popular tool in Japan. There are cheep Suzuri and very expensive Suzuri. So if you want to enjoy Japanese life-style, you can start with just a cheep Suzuri!

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