Let’s try to illustration Sutra copying (Shakyo/絵写経) in Japan!

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Sutra copying is a writing meditation of Buddhism. It is only the East Asian practice of hand-copying.

In this article, we introduce basic information about Sutra copying (Shakyo/写経) and recent popular experience “Illustration Sutra copying”.

What is Sutra copying (写経/Shakyo)? Benefits? Heart sutra? Histry? Hand copying?

Sutra copying is a writing meditation of Buddhism. It is only the East Asian practice of hand-copying. In Japan, recently it is popular as a tourist experience or daily routine for concentration.

The practice of Sutra copying originated in China. Sutra copying was imported to Korea in the third century. In Japan, the practice of Sutra copying became very popular during the Nara period (710~794).

Where can we experience Sutra copying (Shakyo) in Japan? Need to buy kit?

Usually, we can experience at the temple. However, it was not special things, so recently many kits are sold at bookstore and stationery stores.

The Sutra copying kit is very simple. We need to prepare only a special trace paper (Washi/筆) and Japanese traditional pen (Fude/筆). You can buy all at Amazon.

Sutra copying paper is Washi(和紙/Japanese traditional paper)

Washi (和紙) is a kind of traditional Japanese paper. Washi is made using Gampi tree, Mitsumata shrub, Paper mulberry bush. Sutra copying paper is washi, which is printed trace line.

This history and skill is evaluated by whole the world, it is registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage

We recommend new style “Illustration Sutra copying”!

Currently, Illustration Sutra copying is spread many temples in Japan. It can be experienced by children and tourists who can not write many Kanji (Japanese writing)!

In December, we tried the illustration Sutra copying at Daihoji temple (大宝寺) at Aoki village in Nagano prefecture, Japan. This program takes about 1hours-2hours. An experienced fee is 1,300 yen!

We only had to trace the line, so we can write well! Even those who are not good at writing can write well.

Let’s try illustration Sutra copying (Shakyo/絵写経) in Japan!

After the finished paper, Sutra copying is dedicated to the temple’s budda. It is combined among to know Japanese and Buddism culture, Meditation and relax, to dedicate the work to budda at the temple. We recommend trying Sutra copying while traveling in Japan!


The characteristic points of Nagano prefecture are a fusion between affluent nature and Japanese traditional lifestyle. Nagano is constructed in many town and village, where have originality. These regions have a different history, different culture, different nature, we can feel a side of Nagano as a treasure box.

Northern Alps in Nagano


”NAGANO TRIP” is sightseeing contents site to offer tourist information about Nagano prefecture in Japan. People who are interested in Nagano can learn and know about sightseeing contents before visit Nagano. In addition, visitor can learn and enjoy while traveling and after the trip.

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