Japanese Professionals 4 – Drawing dragon with one brush

February 28, 2012 Juju Kurihara Arts, Entertainment, Professionals Tags: 16 Comments

As we all know (or just a wish for thinking?), it´s a year of Dragon this year. As well as in China, in Japan Dragon is also a good luck charm.

A friend showed me this video. He´s a Sumie (墨絵 / wash drawing) painter and he draws a dragon with one brush. With a delicate movement, he even draws scales of the body. It´s just impressive.

Sumie is a type of painting and the materials they use are almost the same as the ones for calligraphers, however the technic is very different. I can write calligraphy but I´ve never done Sumie although people are little surprised as they think it´s the same thing.


I´ve done little research and have found out this great master of Sumie dragon. The shop is Kousyuuya located in Nikko (日光) and they are specialised in Hitofude Ryuu (一筆龍 / Dragon with one stroke). They´ve been drawing Ryuu for four generations of masters and the man in the video is the current shop owner.

The movement of the brush is just fascinating!




More professionals



Ryouri Shokunin

Cooking knives

More about Japanese arts

Zen calligraphy

One brush dragon, Kousyuuya


  1. Sanchez 4 years Reply

    Visit our website and discover an other great artist from Nikko in Japan : Tetsuya Abe :

    Free shipping worldwide

  2. aaron 4 years Reply

    google translate will help all non japanese speaking people navagate the page if some is not translated hover over it and most has a pop up box with translation good luck with your art XD

  3. yann 5 years Reply

    Dragon paintings from this artist are sold at http://www.buyjapanart.com.

  4. David Kaufman 5 years Reply

    I would love to buy one of these paintings but am having difficulty w the language etc.

    is there some English translation available?

  5. ask 8 years Reply

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in reality used to be a
    entertainment account it. Look complicated to far introduced agreeable from you!
    However, how could we keep in touch?

  6. Juan Doncel 8 years Reply

    Hello Juju,

    I was wondering if you knew what kind of ink they use, and how do they load the ink into the brush. Oh and great website by the way I keep finding the Japanese culture more and more and more attractive from women to food to art. I have to go there for sure! but I’m afraid if I go I might stay 🙂


    • juju.kurihara 8 years

      Hi Juan

      I don´t know about the ink. You could try to ask them although the shop told me that they are not good at English and take time to respond. This is the inquiry page : http://www.kousyuuya.com/inquiry

      I think you should try once. You might stay? Why not? Then it might be your destiny 😉

  7. Clayton 8 years Reply


    I was wondering if there was an English link to the http://www.kousyuuya.com page? I was interested in purchasing artwork, however my Japanese is limited.

    Many thanks Clayton

    • juju.kurihara 8 years

      Hello Clayton

      Thank you for contacting me about the dragon paintings. I´m a little surprised that so many people are interested in this articles after a long time since I originally published. 

      I have just written to Koshuya if they can deal with customers from overseas. However you can also write to them from here, http://www.kousyuuya.com/inquiry

      I don´t see their site in English and I don´t know if they speak or write English. I need to wait their answer. Meantime, if anything I could help, please contact me again. 

      Thank you and have a nice day.

      iromegane editor

      Juju Kurihara

  8. Alex 9 years Reply

    Hi, I am searching for this “big” brush ?? what kind of brush is it? where can i buy it??
    best regards Alex

    • juju.kurihara 9 years

      Hi Alex

      Are you looking for the one shows in the video? If so, that´s a calligraphy brush. Depends where you live but you maybe able to find in an art shop, a calligraphy shop, or a Chinese shop. Also there are many online shops you can buy from. 

      If you need more advice, let me know.

      iromegane editor,


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