Books: Calligraphy

THE PILLOW-BOOK OF SEI SHONAGON— Translated by Arthur Waley—Houghton Mifflin ($2.50). The Tale of Genji, recently done into English, revealed a highly sophisticated civilization in loth Century Japan. Lady Murasaki's novel is fiction glossed with decadent romance, but her accuracy of atmosphere and circumstance is corroborated by this loth Century Japanese diary. Sei Shonagon was in the service of Empress Sadako at the elaborate court of Heian. Not the least of her qualifications for the post was her handwriting—the cult of calligraphy amounting almost to a religion at court. Love affairs...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!