Where letters speak


In collaboration with Consulate General of Japan in Kolkata and Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, the Nihongo Kaiwa Kyookai Society (NKKS) organized a Calligraphy Workshop which portrayed the fine artistic technique of writing in Japanese language using traditional brush, ink and other materials. More than 70 students, mainly from the Japanese language learning institutes, participated in the workshop that will be conducted by Ms. Hiroko Nagahama, a Former Calligraphy Teacher at the Tokyo Kasei University Girls Senior High School. Hiroko Nagahama shares her thoughts.


What keeps you motivated to keep coming back to Kolkata and do workshops?

My aim is to create more awareness about Japanese culture.  There are already a lot of people who love Japan. I want to increase their numbers.  In today’s age the connection between one human being with another is very important. You have to build relationships with people. Japanese calligraphy is the essence of traditional Japanese culture.


How can calligraphy be made popular here?

Unfortunately you don’t see much implementation of calligraphy here in India. Japanese calligraphy has evolved and is now taught as a required subject in Japan’s elementary schools. One experience relaxation and emotional calmness while doing calligraphy.


What are your thoughts on online calligraphy courses?

There are useful resources and online courses are on the Internet. But it is important to learn the basics from a good instructor. Once you have the hang of it then you can take online lessons.


Any memorable experience  from this trip?

I was surprised to see the participants this time. How talented they were. Although many of them were doing it for the first time, they wrote so well. I am happy that so many people know about the existence of calligraphy.


What are the practical implications of calligraphy in modern times?

You can use it in making posters. Or you can use the calligraphy form in writing Indian languages. One can modify and personalize these styles for an infinite range of stunning effects


How spiritual is Japanese calligraphy?

It helps you to connect more deeply with their higher selves.