Shodō for Little Tokyo

Image by Ken Honjo

Shodō for Little Tokyo

Free shodō calligraphy workshops for Little Tokyo senior residents! Express yourself through the art of traditional Japanese calligraphy with Kuniharu Yoshida. No experience needed, and all materials are provided!

自分の気持ちを書道で自由に表現してみませんか?書家、芳田 訓晴 さんが親切指導いたします。経験不要、講座の材料は全部無料です!

Funded in part by Rose Hills Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.
Past years were funded by California Arts Council and ArtPlace America.

2021 Spring Shodo Culminating Artworks

Struggling to Live, 生きる戦い

ABE, Paul
Trust, 信頼

"As manager of a bank in Little Tokyo, trust and dependability are key values. "Shinrai" is a professional creed."

Live/Life, 人生

""Time flies like an arrow." Forty-five years have passed since I came to live in the USA. "

FUJII, Kazuko
Generation, 世代

"Nikkei society has been diverse, by adding Shin Issei populations. Also, each generation have different way thinking. I’m expressing the gaps ."

Family, 家族

"My dear family and friends are in LA, TX, Japan, and Guam, I am filled with warmth."

Live/Life, 人生

"There were many things that I remembered as I approached the end of my 80 years of life."

Support, 支援

"I heard the word “support” so many times during this unprecedented time. We had had the pandemics in the past. I’m a firm believer that we can overcome this crisis by keeping our hopes up and someday we can live without wearing masks."

Change, 変化

"Little Tokyo Towers is planning to start improvement work this year in response to the improvement of earthquake countermeasures due to aging of old buildings 10 years ago by the Los Angeles City Ultimate Housing Bureau. Looking forward to how it will change after this work is completed. "

IDEO, Shigeru
Change, 変化

"I want the most change now."

ITO, Hiroko
Live/Life, 人生

"We were all born and grew up in different places, but now we are all here. Our pioneers built Little Tokyo with hope and trust, against all the obstacles. I always wanted to take calligraphy classes but I couldn’t. Now, my dream has come true in America, in Little Tokyo at this age. “We meet people. None of us have the same life story. Therefore, we help each other and live together”. This is why I chose the word "Life.""

ITO, Hisako
Generation, 世代

"The Little Tokyo community is a community of many generations gathering together."

KADONO, Yukiko
Support, 支援

"I appreciate that community is supporting me and my family so much , since I moved from Japan to LA."

KAJIYAMA, Cathy Hiroe
Friendship, 友情

"I was exhausted after taking care of my husband who had suffered from colorectal cancer and kidney cancer for 17 years, and I wondered how good it would be to be with me at this time, and I thought that I could not leave my only daughter. I have lived my life. After that, I was able to join the Little Tokyo Towers and made various friends. In particular, her one friend who became close to her, her cheerful and cheerful Christmas party help, and so on, her happy girlfriend suddenly got cancer and died in a blink of an eye. I was overwhelmed by the sadness, loneliness, and deep sorrow I had never experienced before, and I was surprised to find a strong bond of friendship. It's a bit exaggerated, but it's a book of requiescats for her late friend."

Change, 変化

"The past year was about life, death and change. My scroll is to LIVE LIFE with all its messy parts. It's going outside the lines and experiencing LIFE. Pain and sorrow, joy and bliss, fear and loneliness were part of a new landscape, unknown spaces both inside and out. Longing for the resilience to come back to some kind of new normal, knowing that it can never be the same, that security is a thing of the past. Like clouds changing Moment to moment Really seeing what's in front of me Doing what is needed in this moment Now Helping each other Can the essence of Kintsugi heal us? Can we heal the pain and brokeness That comes with living life? Perhaps with prayers Prayers infused with love Learning to love ourselves from the inside out We begin to hear and live life again A new way A new life A different kind of life What will it be? What will you choose How will you LIVE LIFE? I also chose Live/Life because it had the least amount of strokes and is the simplest of the kanji we were shown. I wrote it using matcha because I love matcha and the color green is for healing and life. Also the reference to Kintsuji began with a broken tea bowl that was repaired to make it more beautiful because of its broken history. There are also some drops of essential oils—Joy and Valor for strength—that are added with prayers for healing and resilience."

Family, 家族

"My husband was a third-generation Japanese-American. I passed away 22 years ago, but there were many things. When my family was about to break, someone in my family helped me. Since last year, I have lived alone in the corona sickness, and although I had some uneasy days, my family was the basis of my heart. Some families don't speak Japanese, but they are all irreplaceable and dear families for me. I wrote it for my family with all my heart."

Respect, 敬意

"I chose ‘Respect’ because I received it as a teacher’s sample. This is the word I’m always keeping in mind."

A continuation of Kuniharu's senior calligraphy workshops as a part of his LTSC +LAB Artist Residency during summer 2018:

心の書 | Calligraphy of Heart

In the Attic / Ken Honjo and Kuniharu Yoshida