From TP’s Stack: “The Beauty of Characters and the Power of Characters”

Today, I would like to introduce “The Beauty of Characters and the Power of Characters,” edited by Kohei Sugiura.

A variety of character designs in the Asia region are described in this book, including Korean pictographs, Kyoto’s Daimonji-yaki, Chinese shading gradation with the printed character “congratulation,” and character talismans tattooed on Khmer male bodies. The character designs selected and printed from the author’s Asian character research materials reach 80 pieces.

This book consists of 5 chapters that distinguish character designs by features. The titles of the 5 chapters are: “Characters with the Flow of Character Fluid,” “Wearing Characters,” “Putting On Characters,” “Carrying Characters,” and “Living with Characters.” Native costumes and characters are described in “Wearing Characters,” a sacred crown and characters are described in “Putting On Characters,” and so on. Each chapter is filled with decorative materials and characters related to the chapter title. The reader can experience the feelings of decorative material creators through characters.

As the author described: “All of these characters appear in unexpected places, and their posture is beyond our imagination,” handling and form of characters rarely seen in our current time are described. I feel that our predecessors put their thoughts into characters, handled them closely, and were also attracted to the shape of characters. There is an “energy of characters protruding from symbol characteristics, which goes beyond being just a symbol.”

As all character designs are explained, I recommend this book to anybody who likes the shape of characters or is interested in the culture of human beings and characters. You may also understand how our predecessors related to characters.

A comment on “The Beauty of Characters and the Power of Characters” and introduction of the related book by Isao Suzuki, representative of Type Project, are as follows:

As characters are familiar and wide, there is no end to them when you become interested. In addition, the interest is deep and dense, so you cannot get out when you enter. What I said is exaggerated, but “The Beauty of Characters and the Power of Characters” teaches us that the power of culture dwells in characters.

“The Secret of Books,” written by the author of “News of Characters and Books” is an introductory book on reading calligraphy with lines. This book includes references to “The Beauty of Characters and the Power of Characters.” The book does not look serious at a glance, but it is a proper guidebook. Take a look as you enter deeply into the world of characters.

Book information:
“The Beauty of Characters and the Power of Characters”
 Composer and Editor: Kohei Sugiura
 Publisher: SEIBUNDO SHINKOSHA Publishing Co., Ltd.

Purchase information:
It is out of stock at the official website
, but you can purchase on honto.

Book information:
“The Secret of Books”
 Author: Hiroyuki Koga
Illustrator: Kazuto Sasaki
 Publisher: Asahi Press

Purchase information:


Series archive Recommended Book / From TP’s Stack