良/白: Variations in Kanji Shapes

hoshiboshi

Member
English - US
Quick question about form when writing.
Is it okay, when writing quickly, to draw the dot on top of 良 slanting slightly to the left, as in 白? (see image)
I find this easier than writing it straight up and down, and think I have seen Japanese teachers write it this way as well.

kanjipenmanship.png
 
  • Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    It does not matter much. The orthography of handwritten Chinese characters allows humanly variances. While language is not always an affair of a government, here is the standard the Japanese government recommend:
    http://www.bunka.go.jp/kokugo_nihongo/pdf/jouyoukanjihyou_h22.pdf#page=7
    See, example, the three variations for 戸.

    I find 寛九紀24 and 寛九紀2 in this page not only acceptable but also legitimate.

    If you go further down the history, similar forms as above can be seen in epigraphic records from the Tang Dynasty (Note that the following page is very heavy due to image loads):
    http://coe21.zinbun.kyoto-u.ac.jp/djvuchar?query=良
     

    Tonky

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Well, it may be acceptable for some people, but obviously not the standard variation. (check 言 in that bunka page)
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Tonky, when they say 例 for an itemisation in governmental papers, the list is non-exhaustive. The fact that some variations are not on the list does not necessarily mean they are non-standard. If you take a look at 糸 and 年, you will understand the level of variations among the standard forms.

    True, the left-tilting first stroke for 良 is a minority in Tang epigraphies. One of the authoritative models for printing letters by brush (毛筆楷書) has a rightward variation as in:
    女慕貞絜。男效才
    from 智永's 真草千字文

    Still we have seen the left-tilting 良 in two different periods and places. I consider them as natural occurrences. If the tilt is so slight as not to be confounded with the first stroke of 重, it is also free of reproach as a means of communication. Calligraphic aesthetics for brush letters, like 千字文, need not be kept to the serif of the jot in discussing the standard of letters written by pen or pencil.
     

    Tonky

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Fair enough. As long as people who do it are aware of the common variations.

    I still would not consider the left-tilting of 良 the same as that of 白, but who knows :p
     

    hoshiboshi

    Member
    English - US
    Thank you both for the helpful input! I appreciate it. :)
    I think I will stick to the "tome" dot as shown on the wiki page, it seems to be one of the most common.
    To me, the straight up and down line doesn't "flow" well when I draw, so I'm glad there are other ways to write it.

    Thanks for those links, Flaminius! They'll help me in the future if I have more calligraphy questions.
    It looks like kanji drawing has a bit more flexibility than I thought - for instance, the different drawings of the dot on top of 言 on the bunka page.
    It's nice to be able to vary it according to personal aesthetic preference. It happens in English, too, with handwriting so I suppose I'm not too surprised!
     
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