Water-dropper (calligraphy)

A water-dropper (Japanese: 水滴, Hepburn: suiteki, Chinese: 水滴; pinyin: shuǐdī) is a small device used in East Asian calligraphy as a container designed to hold a small amount of water. In order to make ink a few drops of water are dropped onto the surface of an inkstone. By grinding an inkstick into this water on the inkstone, particles come off and mix with the water, forming ink.

A hen-shaped water dropper

Water-droppers may be made of copper, jade or other stone, or ceramic. A water-dropper has two small holes for water and air, and is designed so that only a few drops of water can fall at one time.[1]

There are a few types of water-droppers.

Type of water-dropper Hanzi / Kanji Pinyin Rōmaji
Water-dropper with pouring spout and a handle 水注 shuǐzhù suichuu
Water-droppers in diverse forms with large openings 水中丞 shuǐzhōngchéng suichuujou
Jar-like water-droppers with large opening 水盂 shuǐyú suiu
Frog shaped water-dropper 蟾蜍 chánchú senjo


  1. ^ suiteki 水滴 (in English); aisf.or.jp, consulted on: 2012-12-31

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