Sonen School (尊円流)

Sonen School is a school of calligraphy founded by Cloistered Imperial Prince Sonen.

The school is also known as Shorenin School or Oie School.

The Origin of the Name

It is known as Sonen School because it was separated from Sesonji School, developed, and founded as a new school by Cloistered Imperial Prince Sonen. It is also known as Shorenin School because Cloistered Imperial Prince Sonen was Shorenin Monzeki (head priest of Shorenin temple).
Also, it is known as Oie School (literally, the family style) because Emperor Fushimi, the father of Cloistered Imperial Prince Sonen, said when looking at the calligraphy, 'this shall be the style of your family lineage.'

Related Calligraphy Styles
Parent of Sonen School
Sesonji School: Founded by FUJIWARA no Yukinari
Descendants of the Sonen School
Soncho School: Founded by Cloistered Imperial Prince Soncho
Sanjo School: Founded by Sanetaka SANJONISHI
Sokan School: Founded by Sokan YAMAZAKI
Dennai School: Founded by Dennai TAKEBE
Konoe School: Founded by Taneie KONOE
Sogan School: Founded by Sogan, the priest of Konren-ji Temple
Arisugawa School: Founded by Emperor Reigen

Other descendents include Chokuhitsu School.

As listed above, there are many schools of calligraphy derived from Sonen School, which may create an impression that the schools of Sonen School are flourishing; however, the schools were short of prominent calligraphers (the exception was the kakemono (a hanging scroll of calligraphy displayed in the teahouse) in this school were used for tea ceremony by Sojun IKKYU).

However, official documents of samurai families were typically written in the Oie School, which gradually spread throughout the social strata in Japan. In response to the growing interest of education, the Oie School explosively spread as it was used in the textbooks for common citizens, such as oraimono (textbooks of letter format), in terakoya (temple elementary school) in the Edo period. It had been the standard calligraphy style of Japan until the Meiji period, when printing became the common practice.

[Original Japanese]