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The Lesson of Shodo(Calligraphy) by Mr. Nishimoto, an Iro-Moji(Colored Calligraphy) Artist – “Michi(Way)” –


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

Thank you for watching KARAKURIJAPAN!
Our media, KARAKURIJAPAN is aiming to express traditional Japanese technologies or crafts to all over the world.

It’s just starting, but we’re going to introduce various traditional Japanese cultures such as origami, togei(ceramics), and e.t.c. from now.

I’m going to show you traditional culture in Japan day by day, so please look forward it!


Then, what I’m going to introduce today is shodo(calligraphy), which is one of the traditional technologies in Japan.

Shodo has been familiar to many people in Japan since long ago. It has unique attractive points like its expression way with beauty of the letters or light and shade of the ink.

And KARAKURIJAPAN is going to show a little bit different style of shodo from now!

 How is it different? It is that literally colored!




Different from normal shodo written with just black color, iro-moji(colored calligraphy) is written with various colors.

KARAKURIJAPAN invites Ken Nishimoto as an instructor of iro-moji to introduce it!


Who is Mr. Nishimoto, an Instructor of Iro-Moji(Colored Calligraphy)?


スクリーンショット 2016-07-08 17.52.32



Mr. Nishimoto was born in Hiroshima in 1986, now is a calligrapher and a musician as his occupations.

He is a calligrapher guitarist who is a musician as well as a calligrapher. He takes an active part as a guitarist at various band group, and doing many performances as a musician. He is the very person who should be called “artist”.

Such an artist, Mr. Nishimoto is strong in “iro-moji(colored calligraphy”.


Then, what is iro-moji?

I’m going to introduce his work of iro-moji, “michi” (way).


The Writing Way of “Michi” by Mr. Nishimoto


I’ll introduce how to write iro-moji(colored calligraphy), and you can see more details in the video. Please watch it!




▲At first, he started writing with black color like normal shodo. The color seems comparatively thinner. Also, the shape of the word seems softer than normal one. Well, how is he going to put colors from here?



▲He starts painting colors now. It seems putting colors on the word rather than painting. The reason why he the word with thin black color is to make a base of the work!




▲Although the base of the work itself is black, colors are put on some parts of the work. It has attractive point having strength and beauty of the colors at the same time, which is different from normal shodo.




▲He wrote “the way” to complete the work. It is difficult for us to avoid feeling formality, but there is no such formality with iro-moji. It seems more like a modern art rather than a formal art.

Then, let’s have a look at the explanation by Mr. Nishimoto, who wrote this work.


The Explanation by Mr. Nishimoto himself





As the first letter, I wrote “michi (the way)”

The letter “michi” is used in various old Japanese cultures,

such as shodo (calligraphy), which I’m doing,

sado (tea ceremony), kado (flower arrangement) and judo, as well.

The name of my high school was “Shudo High School”.

This is written in the letters which mean “to learn the way”.

The shodo club in the high school has been my basics,

and to go back to the basics,

I wrote “michi” at this time.


Mr. Nishimoto said he wrote it to go back to the basic. As his basic, he had the memory of the calligraphy club in his high school.

It is such a great work, Mr. Nishimoto! Thank you!

How was iro-moji(colored calligraphy)? I hope you enjoyed different attractiveness from normal shodo.


Also, everyone can try iro-moji. Anyone who ever thought “I want to try shodo…but it seems difficult”, how about to try iro-moji?

There is no other work of iro-moji with the same shape of the word and mixture of the colors in the world. What you write is the only work that can be written by you!

Let’s try it!

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

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