Frequently Asked Questions
Free Trial Lesson
|Do you offer free trial lessons?|
After registering your account, select 「Free Level Check」 for a trial lesson.
This is a free trial including a free assessment and level recommendation based on work you submit.
However, this does not include a Skype lesson.
|Is there a time restriction on the free level check?|
|There is no time restriction, but newly-registered members can only take a free BEFORE selecting their first course. After enrolling in your first course, the free trial will become inaccessible.|
Changing Registration Info
|Can I change my registered email address?|
|You can verify and change your email by selecting Change User Info from the lefthand menu or by clicking here.|
|Can I change my registered Skype name?|
|Yes, you can change your registered Skype name by selecting Change User Info from the lefthand menu or by clicking here.|
|How can I cancel my subscription to the mailing list?|
|Click here to cancel your subscription to the mailing list.|
|Can I upload pictures or video from my lessons to my homepage or SNS page?|
Posting any images or video from your lessons with the instructor is forbidden as part of your user agreement.
If we discover any unauthorized content on your personal site or SNS account, it may result in cancellation of your membership.
|Are there membership options for a coorporation or group?|
Please include such additional requests in the Contact Form and we can discuss your options.
|Is there a fee for E-LEARNING ROOM registration?|
E-LEARNING ROOM registration and membership is FREE.
Payments are made based on courses enrolled.
|Can two or more people use the same account?|
No. A single account can only be used by a single person.
Accounts are used to closely track the progress of each student, so even for families, we ask that you register a separate account for each family member.
|Can a parent and child share the same Shodo JAPAN account?|
As a rule, Shodo JAPAN accounts are designed to be (1) account for (1) person.
We ask that parents and children register separate accounts if they will both be enrolled as students.
For young children, we ask that a parent or guardian assist them in registration.
Shodo JAPAN accounts are used to closely track and manage individual student progress.
Multiple students on a single account make it difficult to effectively manage student progress.
|Can I register multiple accounts using the same email address?|
|No. Multiple accounts cannot be registered to the same email address.|
|I'm unable to complete registration.|
|Please use the Contact Form and send us a screenshot and any details that could help us identify the issue you are encountering.|
|I'm encountering an error trying to register my Skype username.|
The following conditions may result in errors when registering your Skype username:
・Your Skype username has already been registered with Shodo JAPAN
・Your Skype username contains uppercase letters or invalid characters
If you are still encountering errors, please use the Contact Form and will we do our best to help.
|Can I put a course on hold to complete later?|
It is possible to temporarily put a course on hold if you are unable to attend a particular week.
You are allotted (2) breaks of up to (5) days each, for a total of (10) days.
Select 「My Page - Course History」 to put a course on hold.
|Can I set a specific period to take a break or cancel membership in advance?|
|No, you cannot set a specific period of time to put a course on hold or cancel membership. It is done on a case-by-case basis.|
|How do I cancel membership?|
Click here to cancel membership.
You will still be able to access courses for their duration even after cancellation.
|Is my personal information deleted upon cancellation of membership?|
Personal information is not immediately deleted, but marked as "Cancelled Membership" and saved.
If you wish to have your personal information deleted, please contact us.
|What happens after I cancel membership?|
|After cancelling membership, you can still access courses for any time remaining. Please be aware that any Skype lessons reserved after the final day of the course will be cancelled.|
|I'm in the middle of a course, but I wish to cancel my Shodo JAPAN membership. When should I begin the cancellation process?|
Even if you request membership cancellation, you can still access the course for the duration of that course.
Courses do not renew automatically, so you are only charged if you manually choose to renew your course.
Please be aware that any Skype lessons reserved beyond the final day of the course will be cancelled.
|If I renew my membership after cancellation, can I pick up my courses where I left off?|
|If you are enrolled in a course, it will remain accessible even after cancellation of membership, and the remaining days of the course will continue to run down until the course is over. You cannot cancel membership and return to a course midway through later on once the duration of the course is complete.|
|If I renew my membership, can I use the information I originally registered with before cancellation?|
Yes, you can use the same information from before cancellation.
However, if you make a specific request to have your personal information deleted, then you may have to register a new acccount.
|How do I renew my membership after cancellation?|
First, login to your Shodo JAPAN account with your account information. Now, you can begin course selection.
This will allow you to continue using the information you originally registered with before cancellation.
|How much does each course cost?|
|Please check under COURSES on the front page.|
|What payment methods are available?|
Payments to Shodo JAPAN are done via PayPal.
For more information about PayPal, click here.
|How do I check the remaining time on the course?|
|You can check course duration and remaining time at My Page - Course History|
|How do I sign up and pay if I want to continue taking courses once a course is over?|
Courses are selected and then paid for on a per-course basis.
You cannot enroll in the next level course while you are still in the middle of your current course.
|How can I change my currently enrolled course?|
|You cannot change courses while you are still in the middle of your current course, but you can take multiple courses at the same time.|
|Can I get a refund if I cancel membership in the middle of a course?|
|Even if you cancel your membership, you can still access currently enrolled courses still in progress. We are unable to provide refunds.|
|Can I get a receipt for my course payments?|
Yes, we can provide receipts.
To request a receipt, please fill out the Contact Form and provide the following information
・Description of Goods/Services (e.g., calligraphy lessons)
※If left blank, we will write 「Online Calligraphy Course Fee」.
※We cannot provide receipts for services other than those actually provided（i.e., we can't write "books" if you don't actually purchase a book）
・Method of Issue
We can send receipts in PDF format by email.
|How do I start a course?|
After registering an account, you begin on the day as indicated on the course you have selected.
The lesson will progress as shown on My Page.
|Can children enroll in courses?|
Yes, children can also enroll in courses.
There are no age restrictions, but children may require the assistance of a parent or guardian to complete the 30-minute Skype lessons, as well as take and upload photos of their work. For children with no Japanese language experience, we recommend starting at age 10 and up.
For children with Japanese experience or a Japanese parent, we recommend being age 8 or older and having the assistance of a parent or guardian. These are only suggested guidelines, so feel free to contact us to discuss a learning plan for your child.
|Can I enroll in a course from overseas?|
Yes, you can enroll in Shodo JAPAN from overseas.
For Skype lesson times, you can select the time zone in which you live.
If your desired time zone is not available, choose the closest time zone to you or simply calculate your desired time from Japan Standard Time.
|Can I take lessons using my own textbooks?|
Yes, you can discuss and plan a customized course with the instructor.
However, please be aware that we may not be able to accommodate some requests.
Please contact us beforehand for details.
|Can I take courses in languages other than English?|
|Currently, we only offer courses in English or Japanese.|
|Can I view video seminars on my smartphone or tablet?|
Yes, you can use a smartphone or tablet to view video seminars.
Skype lessons can also be done via smartphone or tablet using the official Skype application.
Poor reception or slow transfer speed can disrupt the audio and video, so we recommend switching to Wi-Fi instead of 3G/4G.
|Can I take Skype lessons without a camera?|
Without a camera, even if the student can see the instructor, the instructor will be unable to see the student's writing style firsthand and give feedback.
We recommend having a camera ready and working to get the most out of your Skype lesson.
|What happens if I am late for the start of the Skype lesson?|
If it is still within 5 minutes from the agreed upon start time, you may call the instructor.
If you are late by more than 5 minutes, or if it is a group lesson, the instructor may not be able to answer your call.
If you are late by more than 10 minutes, you will be considered absent and lose (1) Skype lesson from your allotted total. However, you will still receive image files containing your assessment.
Please be aware that regardless of whether you start on time or are late to the lesson, the lesson will still end as scheduled. There will be no extra time provided.
|Can I take a Skype lesson using a different Skype name?|
Yes, you can take a Skype lesson using a different name than usual.
However, please be sure to change your registered Skype name under My Page 「Change User Info」 at least an hour prior to the start of the lesson.
※If you do not register the name change at outlined above and the instructor becomes unable to contact you, you will lose that Skype lesson from your allotted total.
|How far ahead of time do I need to reserve a Skype lesson?|
|Lesson reservations must be made at least one hour in advance.|
|How does the reservation system work? Can I reserve multiple Skype lessons?|
|Once the currently reserved lesson is completed, you will then be able to reserve the next lesson for as early as the following day.|
|How do I reserve a Skype lesson?|
|Login to your account, navigate to My Page and choose 「Reserve Skype Lesson」. Then, select the desired day and time.|
|I'm having trouble reserving my Skype lesson.|
The following issues may prevent you from being able to reserve a lesson:
・There are 0 open spots for that lesson.
→Select a day and time that shows (1) or more open spots.
・Course payment has not been completed.
→Please ensure that payment has been verified.
If you are unable to reserve a course for any other reason, please contact us via the Contact Form for assistance.
|Is there any penalty for missing a Skype lesson?|
|No, there is no penalty, but that lesson will be lost from your allotted total.|
|Do unsed Skype lessons roll over for later use?|
No, unused lessons for the course will NOT roll over for use at a future date.
Lessons that go unused will be lost.
|Can I change or cancel Skype lessons?|
Any changes or cancellations must be done at least 24 hours in advance.
If cancellations are not requested with at least 24 hours' notice, you will be considered absent and lose that lesson from your allotted total.
|How do I configure my Skype privacy settings so I can receive calls from the instructor?|
|Login to Skype, select「Tools」→「Options」→「Privacy」 and under 「Allow calls from...」 select the radio button next to 「anyone」.|
|I'm getting Contact Requests from people I don't know… what do I do?|
|Your instructor will only contact you under the Skype name "shodo.japan" or "teacher." You do not need to accept Contact Requests from any other unfamiliar usernames.|
|How do I use Skype video chat?|
There are two main ways a video chat will begin:
◆Instructor calls student
To accept the call, click on the video camera icon.
◆Student calls instructor
Click on the video camera icon to request a video chat with the instructor.
For more details, check out the Skype homepage
|I received a message with a URL that may be from the instructor. Should I click it?|
|For safety reasons, Shodo JAPAN will never contact you through Skype outside of agreed upon lesson times. All notifications will be sent to My Page 「Notifications」 or 「Instructor Comments」, or through email. Any URLs sent from Shodo JAPAN through Skype, especially outside of agreed upon lesson times, should be considered malicious. Do NOT click on them! Instead, please copy and paste the URL into our Contact Form and notify us immediately. （※When copying the URL, be careful not to click it by accident!）|
|How do I change the language settings for Skype?|
|Login to Skype, select 「Tools」→「Change Language」 and choose your preferred language.|
|How do I check my Skype username?|
You can find your Skype username using the following methods:
1 Your username will be displayed near the top of the window after logging into Skype on PC.
2. For different devices, please see the link below for more information.
Checking your Skype Username
3. Log out of the Skype program and your username should be displayed above the password field
|What's the difference between my username and displayed name?|
The username is what you used to register for Skype. Use this for your Shodo JAPAN profile.
If you use your displayed name, the instructor will be unable to contact you.
Please see the link below for details about checking your Skype username.
Checking your Skype Username
If you enter your Skype username incorrectly, you can edit it by logging into Shodo JAPAN and accessing My Page.
Change your User Info here.
Skype Initial Setup
|What is Skype?|
|Skype is an Internet conferencing service provided by Microsoft that allows you to communicate in realtime via text, voice and video.|
|Does Skype cost money to use?|
|Skype is free to download and free to use.|
|How do I download Skype?|
Download Skype at the link below:
|How do I launch Skype?|
Double-click the Skype icon on your desktop.
If there is no Skype icon on your desktop, click the Start Button （at the bottom left of the screen） and select Programs→Skype→Skype.
Click the Skype icon in the Dock on your desktop.
If there is no Skype icon in your Dock, select the Finder (leftmost icon in the Dock) and select Applications→Skype.
|What should I do if I don't receive a Contact Request from the instructor?|
＜5 or more minutes before the lesson＞
Instructors are required to contact students at least 5 minutes prior to the start of a lesson.
However, if instructors are conducting another lesson at that time, there may be a delay in contact.
Please wait until 5 minutes prior to the start of the lesson.
＜Less than 5 minutes before the lesson＞
There may be rare cases where we encounter trouble establishing contact via Skype.
If it is less than 5 minutes to the lesson and you have not yet received a Contact Request, please notify us using the Contact Form.
|What should I do if I don't get a Skype call from the instructor?|
There may be any number of reasons why a call cannot be established with the instructor.
First, please attempt to initiate a call with the instructor from your end.
Also, please be aware that if your Skype 「Privacy Settings」 are set to only accept calls from usernames on your Contact List, you will be unable to receive calls from instructors with usernames not registered in your Contact List.
From the Skype home screen, select 「Tools」→「Options」→
「Privacy」→「Privacy Settings」 and under 「Allow calls from...」 select the radio button next to
|How do I initiate a call with an instructor?|
We will notify you of the instructor's Skype username at the start of the course.
Search Skype for that username and request a call.
|What should I do in case of poor sound or image quality during a call?|
Please see the link below for information on dealing with poor sound or image quality:
Issues with Call Quality
|The instructor can't hear me!|
Please check the solutions listed below:
・Make sure the headphone or headset is fully plugged into the machine.
・Right-click the volume icon at the bottom right of the screen and make sure Mute is turned off.
・From the Windows Start Menu, select→「Control Panel」,「Audio」→「Recording」 and make sure the device you are using is selected and on.
・Check that the headset works properly on another machine.
If the microphone works, but for some reason is muted within the Skype application:
１: Check the microphone settings and make sure Mute is turned off.
・Check the microphone is switched on, the volume is set properly and the microphone is fully plugged in.
・Use other software to check the PC is picking up your voice from the microphone.
２:The microphone is muted in the PC settings
・From the Windows Start Menu, select→「Control Panel」,「Audio」→「Recording」 and ensure the correct device is selected and on.
・The microphone is muted within the Skype application
・From the Skype toolbar, select 「Tools」,「Options」→「General Settings」→「Audio Settings」 and under 「Microphone」 check the box for 「Automatically adjust microphone settings」
|I can't hear the instructor!|
Please use the link below to diagnose the problem:
Check Skype Sound Quality
If you are still having issues:
・Make sure the headset and microphone are fully plugged into the machine.
・Check the microphone is not muted and the volume is sufficiently turned up.
・Select the Windows button (bottom left of the screen) and select 「Control Panel」→「Hardware and Sound」→「Audio Device Manager」 and make sure the required devices are turned on.
・In the Skype application, select 「Tools」→「Options」→「Audio Settings」 and make sure the volume is sufficiently turned up.
If none of the above methods solve your issue, there may be problems with your speakers or headset.
Try connecting your headset to another computer to verify it works properly.
|I got disconnected in the middle of a lesson!|
|If your call is disconnected, and you do not receive another call or message from the instructor, first, try to initiate a call with the instructor from your end. If you still cannot re-establish contact with the instructor, please notify us using the Contact Form.|
|I forgot my Skype username and password!|
If you forget your Skype username or password, you can retrieve it using the following link:
I forgot my username/password
|I can't login to Shodo JAPAN!|
Please check the following items if you are getting login errors:
１：Make sure your email and password are entered correctly
２：For English letters, use only lowercase (abc). Uppercase (ABC) letters are not valid.
→Holding down the left 「Shift」 key and pressing 「CapsLock」 will turn CapsLock on and off.
３：Do not add spaces anywhere in your email address or password
４：Make sure Cookies are turned on （these can typically be found under Privacy settings, but depend on your specific browser)
|What's the difference between solid ink and liquid ink?|