Review, anthology and some information for Apps and ecosystem of iPhone from Japan

Monday, February 23, 2009

Winding stroke shows your soul

iShodo price: ¥155($0.99) developer: Ubiquitous Entertainment Inc. size: 1.1MB iTunes
Japanese caligraphy “Sho-do” uses soft brush to write infinite style letters. To learn sho-do may hard from many reason like these straighten sitting “Sei-za”, knowledge of writing order of thousands kan-ji letters, spending many papers, etc... Even if you'll get respect from many Japanese people after getting skills and spirits of Sho-do, the road to sho-do seems like Jedi training.
“iShodo” is the easiest way of enjoying sho-do style drawing.
Japanese beauty wearing kimono invite you to iShodo after launching on splash screen.
To start, tapping "Write Now" buton opens white wrinkled Japanese paper (Wa-Shi) where is your sho-do canvas. Flicking screen with your finger puts ink on paper. Quick stroke will draw narrow and slowly or stop moving your finger put wide lines. This width variation expresses huge kind of expression on small number of letters. Below drawn letter is my name... Not so good.
After several stroke, you'll find ink pale down. This is simulation of real brush. In order to fill ink, tap right side to pan ink tray and water bottle area. Scrubing on ink tray fills ink to brush and tapping watter bottle fills a bit of water for smooth drawing.
In fact, user interface of iShodo is not good. Terrible point is, any clear looking button doesn't appear.
This terrible interface will make user confused at first looking though Japanese people can predict iShodo's layout from real sho-do experience and "Instruction" button is prepared on start up screen. I hope developer fix interfaces.
Though some weekness exist, iShodo simmulates sho-do on iPhone with incredible response. I was surprised at the feeling to draw on iShodo reminds me real sho-do drawing even if paper size is too small and important drawing techniques are not able to use. I enjoy it enough drwawing sho-do on iPhone.
I'm not sure developer will release next version but current iShodo is worth to take a look.

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Taiyo Fujii,
Novel writer, 35th Japan SF award.