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Japanese calligrapher performs at HAU

Japanese calligrapher Hiroki Takeshima dabbed some cultural color to the summer campus scene at Holy Angel University with an inspired demonstration on the Japanese art of calligraphy on May 4, 2016 at Plaza San Jose.

Before an intimate audience of students, employees, teachers and administrators, Mr. Takeshima began his performance by writing the word "Creation" in kanjion a huge canvas, using a broad bamboo brush and black ink of ash and oil mixture.

Mr. Takeshima further showcased his mastery of the centuries-old art of calligraphy, called shodo, or "the way of writing", by painstakingly inscribing 276 words from sacred Buddhist writings, each of which he proceeded to recite after.

Mr. Takeshima was born on June 3, 1985. Starting at the age of eight, he studied Japanese calligraphy in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture until he was 18 years old.

In 2009, at the age of 24, he traveled for seven months around Australia, staging impromptu performances on the art of Japanese calligraphy outdoors. The experience further deepened his love and passion for the art. In 2010, he launched a career as a calligrapher in Fukui Prefecture.

In 2014, Mr. Takeshima held a solo exhibit in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, an area that was damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. Nonetheless, he has since opted to stay there where he continues to prosper and perfect his art.

Initiated by Dr. Arturo Mariano Figueroa of the HAU Graduate School of Engineering in coordination with the Office of International Affairs, Mr. Takeshima’s performance was arranged through Mr. HirotoAihara, a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) consultant and resource person in the HAU Graduate School.

Aside from Mr. Aihara, Tomoko Takeshima, the artist’s wife, and Mayumi Moromi of the University of Tokyo, accompanied the artist to the University.

After his performance, Mr. Takeshima delighted the audience by accommodating requests for Japanese calligraphy inscription on T-shirts and hand-made paper.

Date Posted: 05-16-2016