Japan travels: Shimadai Gallery (calligraphy photo collection)

By | April 13, 2024

On a recent trip to Japan I stopped by Kyoto, where there happened to be a calligraphy exhibit opened in the Shimadai Gallery, a relatively small museum located walking distance from Karasuma Oike Station.

Having been into calligraphy (書道) pretty heavy as a hobby the last few months, I was really blown away by the amazing works of art on display. It really made me acutely feel how much more I have to learn. The vast majority of the works were very hard for me to decipher, and I’ve made it one of my goals to learn to read this type of cursive/artistic calligraphy better (like most things, I think practice is really the only way to get better at it).

As soon as I entered I asked them if photography was alright, and they said yes, so I proceeded to take pictures of nearly every work of art inside, which I’ve put together here in a photo album for your viewing pleasure. The only thing the pictures really don’t capture is the overall design of the rooms and their layout, which is quite nice. In one room there are a few wooden balance boards (?) that sit in a line on the floor, and some kids were playing on them when we were there.

The sign above the entrance says 書法道場 (shohou doujou), which means something like “writing method dojo”.

Which is your favorite? Please let me know in the comments!

By the way, I have plans to document another calligraphy-related activity I did in Kyoto on my new podcast here. And if you want to see more pictures and videos about my recent trip, check out this video on Youtube.

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  1. Pingback: Studying calligraphy in Japan – Self Taught Japanese

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