Hard to believe, but there are people out there who can draw really ornate dragons with just one giant brush stroke. Sumie is a Japanese type of painting wherein the materials used are similar to that of calligraphy. The difference is in the technique, and the result is a very nice detail of dragon scales, which make these stylized dragons something special.

There’s a shop called Kousyuuya in Nikko, and they specialize in just that – dragons painted with one stroke, called Hitofude Ryuu. They have been doing it for four generations, so they really are masters of this type of art. It’s quite difficult to look at their demo videos and not stare. For example, this man (the current shop owner):

You may look at the video and say, “Oh, that must be easy.” But, these Ryuu masters are masters for a reason – years upon years of practice, on top of innate talent, make their paintings unique and valuable.

Here are more videos to check out. Enjoy!


If you want to know more, visit the Kousyuuya website (it’s in Japanese, though).

Thanks for reading!