Shodo became important to the culture because it became associated with morality and spoke to the education level of the person performing or writing kanji. The writing of kanji became a fundamental part of the samurai training because of its being introduced and influenced by the practice of Buddhism. The writings of Buddhism was written in kanji and due to the importance of Buddhism influences on samurai culture it became what it was for the samurai.
The skills required to learn, the then over 50,000 characters, which had to be written in a prescribed order of up to twenty-five or more lines or strokes per character which can be done only through memorization so it can be readable and have artistic merit resulted in a high level of discipline, penmanship, etc. which influenced character and on the approach to life itself. It became a vehicle for all Japanese to develop the ability to create attractive designs and developed a high degree of hand-and-eye coordination when dealing with things small and complex.
When a person makes a request to be accepted into a dojo it would be of benefit to them to take up the pen and practice their penmanship. This would have a positive impact on their character and their approach to self-reflection to increase their ability to perceive or seek out imperfections that would promote continuous achievement in perfecting their craft. I have been informed by my studies that if this were of greater focus in early education of all children it would and could have vast influence on their mental discipline, etc. For Westerners once a personal penmanship reached a certain level of artistic achievement then it could be suggested they take up the brush or pen for "calligraphy" which is a European/Western art of writing.
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If you think that the samurai culture and spirit are no more, think again. Take up the sword, take up the pen and achieve balance in life.