Drop-in Calligraphy Demonstration by Kanazawa Shōko


Join us for an impromptu afternoon calligraphy demonstration by Kanazawa Shōko, one of Japan’s most acclaimed young contemporary calligraphers. 

Born with Down’s syndrome, Shōko began studying shodō, Japanese calligraphy, at the age of 5, taught by her mother and mentor Yasuko. She has since continued to refine her craft, achieving global renown. 

Among her many accomplishments, Shōko has created official art posters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and has held numerous solo exhibitions within Japan and worldwide. 

Whereas Shōko is well-known for her signature large-scale calligraphy, this event offers a rare opportunity to get a glimpse into her regular practice, in which she uses a standard size brush and paper. Join us to witness the expert brushstrokes of young artist at work. 

This event is part of a series of events featuring Kanazawa Shōko and Kanazawa Yasuko organized by Japan House London in collaboration with the Down’s Syndrome Association. Separate events take place at the Langdon Down Centre in Teddington on Saturday 1 April 2023 and at Japan House London on Sunday 2 April.

About the speakers 

Kanazawa Shōko

Shōko, also known professionally as Shōran, was born in Tokyo in 1985. She began studying calligraphy with her mother at the age of 5 and held her first solo exhibition, The World of Calligraphy, in 2005. She has since exhibited her works at temples throughout Japan (Kenchō-ji in Kamakura, Kennin-ji in Kyoto, and Tōdai-ji in Nara). She held her first overseas show in 2015 in New York and has had solo exhibitions in the Czech cities of Plzeň and Prague later that year. She is the co-author, with her mother, of several books, including Tamashii no sho (Calligraphy of the Soul) and Umi no uta, yama no koe (Songs of the Sea, Voices of the Mountain). She designed one of the Tokyo 2020 official art posters as well as the title calligraphy of Taira no Kiyomori, a TV historical drama series broadcast on NHK in 2012. She has been recently appointed as Tokyo Tower Cultural Ambassador. A documentary featuring her story is to be released in 2023.