Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Shodo Exhibit

Today, I made a visit to the 54th Tohoshoten (the name of this exhibition) in Tokyo.  The exhibit is open until tomorrow, 29th, at the Sunshine Bunka Kaikan in Ikebukuro.  In the photo, Iida Kazuko Sensei and I are standing next to her kana shodo.  The style of this kana shodo is called chowa-tai which means it is balanced using a few kanji characters.  This is also called chirashi which means scatter or let it fall.  I love chirashi.  It is a casual art, very playful, but it demands high spirited creativity.  It's up to us to choose what kind of kana for each, how many in one line, how many lines in one group, and so on.  Depending on the way we leave spaces and the movement of over all lines, we can express a lot.  

The above poem is "Mountain Cherry Blossoms" by Wakayama Bokusai.

young leaves sprouted and spread out
like clouds
the fallen remains of
mountain cherry blossoms

Iida sensei and her students.  I love this photo.  The movement, a man behind, all the unique and excellent arts created by the teachers and judges of Tohoshoten organization.  This was room No. 1, and it was the best, of course.   This exibit has about 50 rooms.  It was fabulous.

This shodo was created by Higashino Yukiko san.  She is a classmate of mine.

This sho was created by Yano Chiyo san.  She is a pupil of Iida Sensei.  I want to let you know that there is no age limit in arts.  The author will be 90 this year.   Her sho is as young as Iida Sensei.  I can't read what it is written, but I'm sure it is something to do with love!  I can't wait to be a cool 90 year old like her.


Kathabela said...

Dear Keiko, I love your feelings about all this, for the art and for agelessness. I took an ink painting class and so I have a feeling for this, and also I love calligraphy and have loved exhibits of Japanese art and calligraphy for many years. I have been writing a lot in the form of tanka and also recently I wrote my first tanka prose and it is called "Ageless" so I am in tune with you. Also my beautiful mother is an ageless 90, so I am inspired like you.

keiko amano said...


It's great to see you here!

Talking of tanka, perhaps you can write your tanka with chirashi style and use brushstrokes. Maybe we can experiment that next time. I took many pictures, so I can show them to you.

About ageless, I think all the good artists are ageless. That's why I like artists and arts. We can write and paint and dance until we go to heaven and once in heaven, we can continue the same.

Kathabela said...

That is very true about artist, Keiko... and one wonderful composer said, when he was 96, "take good care of yourself so you can live a very long life, so you can do your best work!!: We will be in Nagoya and Fukuoka June 20 - 26... maybe all the beautiful brush strokes of the world will gather there then...?!

keiko amano said...


Throughout Japan, there are always some kind of exhibition going on. It could be calligraphy, flower arrangement and so on. As you walk in Nagoya and anywhere, you'll bump into artists!

Enjoy your stay in Japan.