Why I started calligraphy

One day when I was in high school, my teacher was in a good enough mood to praise my calligraphy the whole class through. It prompted me to pursue calligraphy.

Later, he saw that I was not at all interested in traditional calligraphy. He gave me two sheets of large tatami-mat-sized Japanese paper and the most gigantic calligraphy brush I’d ever seen and said, “Get down to it! Follow your intuition.” That was the moment my insecurity of whether I was good or bad vanished. I just followed my instincts with that brush. It was a blissful moment. Nothing more. I did not possess any technique, but I selected certain characters and expressed whatever came into my mind. It felt good to have what I imagined emerge on a piece of paper in a matter of a second with a slap of a brush.

I have a special interest in the force of brushes and intensity of handwriting which represent profound pleasure of calligraphy art.

Since then, I have continued to practice the impromptu art of calligraphy. The reason, I think, Is that I aspire to live fully in the now, and not to be bound by the past or the future. A calligrapher neither draws a draft nor rehearses. Once done, a piece cannot be reworked or altered, so a calligrapher usually writes numerous pieces at a time and chooses only one to keep. Through my practice of calligraphy, an artistic expression of living in the now, I would like to continue to write characters that show no hesitation.
And here I am ……


Started “Asobima Sho” – workshops in various locations.
Began “Rakkan ya” (Signature Stamp Store) at events,
carving stone rakkan (signature) stamps on-site.
Began production of “Tegaki Goyomi” – hand-written calendars (400 pieces limited/per year)
Graduated from Chubi Central Art School, Department of Calligraphy and Design
Born in Tokyo


Awarded prizes at Toyo Shogeiin Ten in 1988, 1990 and 1992.

Solo Exhibitions:

d-lab gallery (Saitama Iruma)
Shimada Bijyutukan (Kumamoto)
2012 & 2010
Kinujin with other artists (Hanno, Japan)
Gallery Café Farma (Tokorozawa, Japan) 
Atelier Minstrel (Marugame, Japan)
‘t Japanse Winkeltje (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Nora ya (Tokyo, Japan)
Gallery Kamefuku (Kunitachi, Japan)
Gallery Isshiki, with another artist (Karuizawa, Japan)
Gallery Nomori (Kawagoe, Japan)
Koshika (Kiryu, Japan)
C’est la Vie (Tokyo, Japan)
Ura (Hanno, Japan)

Group show:

Inter National Center Of CCCS (NY)
Kosyundou Garllrey (Yamanashi)
Oumimaibara kouminkan (Shiga)
Caelum garllery (NY)
grallery onetwentyeight (NY)
KINUJIN (Saitama)
KINUJIN ( Saitama)
Garllery Isshiki (Nagano)

Design Works:

  • Calligraphy used in a NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) BS Premium program, “Shin Nihon Fudoki” in an episode, “Bi no Shiro, Tatakai no Shiro (Castles of Beauty, Castles of War)” (Aired in April, 2011)
  • Website material for Earth Day Tokyo, 2006, 2007 and 2008
  • Shop logo: “Coffee Shop Bashamichi”
  • Studio logo: “Studio Kanae”
  • Shop logo: “Grand Coeur” (a natural yeast bakery)
  • Company logo: “Lapin Noir, Kuro-usagi” (a natural yeast bakery)
  • Company logo: “Shigi Gura” (for Yamamoto Soy Sauce)
  • Label for konnyaku gel cake: “Gentaro”
  • Labels for Japanese sake: “Koshu Jun-mai,” “Hatsu Shibori” and “Nigori zake.” (for Igarashi Brewery)
  • Logo for soy sauce promotional goods: “Matsumoto Shoyu” (for Matsumoto Soy Sauce)
  • Tofu product label: “Tamayura” (for Mogi Tofu Inc.)

The Workshop, Sparkling Art:

Popular among children as well as adults, including those who do not understand Japanese. More than a dozen workshops are held annually in the Kanto, Tohoku and Kansai regions of Japan and in The Netherlands such as:

  • Sponsored by NPO AOURA, for the care centers, Saitama, Japan (2012- )
  • For a class for handicapped children, The Junior High School in Hanno, Saitama, Japan (2012)
  • Eco tourism program of Hanno- city, Saitama, Japan (2011)
  • Sponsored by Higashi Murayama Children’s Theatre with a grant from the National Agency for Cultural Affairs, Tokyo, Japan (2011-2013)
  • Sponsored by Omi Community Center, Maibara, Shiga, Japan (2009)

Media Exposures:

  • “yomi time” NEW YORK EVENT JOURNAL (2015)
  • “Kodomo” Benesse (2015)
  • “Hello Japan” Netherlands radio (2010)
  • “Japanese Calligraphy” on BBC Iran (2010)
  • “Tooku e Ikitai (Far Away Places)” on Nippon TV (2009)


  • Denndera Caravan

(c) Yamada Asako www.yamada-asako.com 掲載の画像の無断使用・転載を禁じます。
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