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Sense of fun in the letter “asobu(play)” by a colored calligrapher, Mr. Nishimoto


Hello, I’m a writer of KARAKURIJAPAN, Yonosuke.

This article is about calligraphy, but it’s not normal calligraphy. It’s iro-moji(colored calligraphy).


What is iro-moji(colored calligraphy)?


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Have you ever heard colored calligraphy?

Most people have never. It’s not known well even in Japan, which has long history of calligraphy.

As you can see in the video and guess from the word, it is a kind of calligraphy with colors.

Not only black, it is written with various colors. Look at this kaze(wind)! The letter is about to move!


A colored calligrapher, Mr. Nishimoto will write a word.




Who will do iro-moji(colored calligraphy) is a guitarist calligrapher, Ken Nishimoto.

He was born on January 1st, 1986 in Hiroshima. He is both a calligrapher and a guitarist. Versatile!

At this time, we had him write “asobu(play)”. How will it be?


How to write “asobu(play)” by Mr. Nishimoto


I’ll introduce how to write it. Please watch the video to feel all the charms of iro-moji(colored calligraphy).


Making base at first


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▲ At first he made base, and put colors along the base. How will he put colors on “asobu(play)”?


The first color was yellow


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▲The first color was yellow. It suits for the word asobu(play) because it looks fun! What colors will he use on it?


Various colors were put on it


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▲The next colors were light blue and purple. He put more and more colors. Iro-moji(colored calligraphy) depends on the sense of person writing. It represents the personality.



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▲ The letter is getting many colors. So vivid! It looks like the letter were getting a life.


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▲He added more colors on it. We can’t imagine how the work will be. It depends on his sense. He gave a life to the letter.

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▲At last, he wrote “asobu” with his lots of sense of fun. This is also an expression to make the letter fascinating.




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It’s completed finally!

How is it? Amazing! The letter is about to play!

I feel fun just looking at it, which might be because of his sense of fun.


Explanation by Mr. Nishimoto


Let’s read the explanation by himself.


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At this time, I wrote “asobu(play)”.

I really like children because they are interesting.

I guess they play all the time.

They run around excitedly, and laugh at something not so funny.

I guess they have playfulness deep in their mind.

So I expressed the feeling of playing children.

The shape here expresses the moment children start playing like “yeah!!”.
And the excited feeling is expressed by these colorful colors.


He represented children’s sense of fun who play around. That’s nice! He is a very artist because he represents it just with colors.

I saw a very amazing work! Thanks Mr. Nishimoto!

How was it? Everyone can do iro-moji(colored calligraphy). It has different charms from normal calligraphy.

Let’s try your expression with colors! Make only one work in the world!

>>Watch other works of iro-moji(colored calligraphy)

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