Japanese Calligraphy Kana Shodо̄: The ‘Women Hand’ Kana Characters and Empowerment of Women

Tuesday 19 October, 14.00 - 17.00 

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muragimo kaoruakagawa

Women’s empowerment and the fourth-wave feminism in the 21st century is gaining steam by social media and new communication methods. However, it is not widely known that there was an era in Japan a millennium ago, when women enjoyed their freedom by expressing and sharing their ideas freely with new communication tools they acquired.

Kaoru Akagawa is a master of traditional Japanese calligraphy, kana shodо̄, and an artist who merges traditional calligraphy with new techniques in a style she’s named kana art. In this event Kaoru Akagawa reveals the story of kana, or traditional Japanese characters called on’nade (女手) (literally translated ‘women hand’) utilised in kana shodо̄ and its influence on Japanese culture and aesthetic. A workshop on writing traditional kana shodо̄ work will follow this lecture.

Born in Canada, Kaoru Akagawa grew up in the U.S. and Japan, and since 2007 in Europe. Kaoru Akagawa is a contemporary artist and also a master of Japanese calligraphy (kana shodo). Her aim is to revive ancient traditional Japanese syllabary, kana, in modern times with her own style of art, kana art, has been featured in notable media including CNN, The Guardian and BBC Radio.

This event is part of the TORCH Humanities Cultural Programme.