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"On the Charm of Japanese Calligraphy and BOKUSHO" Interview with Suihou Ichikawa

The fourth interview with a artist was Mr. Suihou Ichikawa. Mr. Ichikawa is a calligrapher and an ink artist. I feel that the characteristics of Ichikawa's work are the pursuit of beauty, whether it is a Japanese calligraphy or ink art. I heard an interesting story about the charm and commitment of each Japanese calligraphy and ink art.

BOKUSHO=Art expression that pursues the beauty of modeling using ink

"書と墨象の魅力について" 市川翠峰インタビュー

by 菱田篤司

November 05, 2019

-First of all, please introduce yourself and give us a brief profile.

My name is Suihou Ichikawa. Since my parents were familiar with calligraphy, I was raised in an environment with ink since I was born. In my childhood, except for calligraphy, I enjoyed playing outside, such as playing baseball and catching insects. While sticking to the basics, I am always exploring the possibilities of calligraphy in a variety of ways.

-On your profile, you say that you are a calligraphy instructor at Titan's School, a communication college for the Titan Entertainment Agency.

Titan's School is "a school to find, find and challenge your potential". If you are in the comedian's course to become a member of the Titan entertainment company, you enter the school to learn and get tips from the many lectures. I have been giving lectures on calligraphy to people in two general courses, the first of which is the "Japanese Calligraphy" course. The content of each lecture is based on a topic of my own choosing, and the students are asked to face the calligraphy. The lectures cover the basics of calligraphy and help students develop the ability to concentrate and think.

-I see. I was impressed by your stance when I heard that you hand-wrote all of the models for all of your students in the past. What are your reasons for going that far, or what are your thoughts?

With the spread of social networking sites and electronic memos, it has become very convenient to delete and modify things easily, but I dare you to As I am the one who has been teaching the importance of handwriting and the allure of calligraphy, the fact that I will be handing out the prints means that I have a lot of work to do. I think it's an act of contradiction. I put my heart and soul into writing each piece, and it becomes a model for that person alone. I think that's where I can convey the warmth and heart of handwriting.

-That’s a wonderful spirit. I think the participants are very happy. By the way, are there any calligraphers who have greatly influenced you or who you like?

I don't mean to be rude, but I don't have anyone in particular. Maybe it's just that I don't have a fixed idea of what's good or inspiring for me. Hmm. I go to see a lot of art other than calligraphy, and when I think it's a beautiful work of art, I'm really moved by it. I do.

-So what made you choose calligraphy and ink painting as a method of self-expression? What kind of work do you find inspiring? Also, can you tell us what kind of work you find inspiring?

I believe that calligraphy has its own style, and it is only when you add originality to it that it changes from calligraphy to calligraphy. There are. For example, you are free to create an imaginary object, but like calligraphy, I dare to hone my individuality in a bounded I am attracted to this. In addition, my BOKUSHO is always based on "characters" in my mind. I create my works with the image of "characters" while eliminating literalism. This is my way of thinking about BOKUSHO, and I find it fascinating. The works that move me are the ones that make my heart tremble at the moment I see or hear them. When it touches my heart, not only in calligraphy, but also in various fields such as music and painting, I feel a strong desire to create art. I think that's true.

I think it's more interesting to have some restrictions. Sports with strict rules, HipHop rhymes, etc... I agree with you that when it resonates with you, it becomes art.

-I agree with you that when something touches your heart, it becomes art. You could elaborate a bit more on the point that the "character" of i BOKUSHO is based on Is it?

For example, if the word "flower" is used, the image is not the flower of a plant, but the shape of the word "flower". For example, if there is a beautiful flower on the side of the road, I want to express it in ink. For example, if there is a beautiful flower in bloom on the roadside, I was driven by the urge to express it in ink. If I do, I will always go from the written to the abstract. It doesn't happen consciously, it's not consciously so, but the letters are always at the root of me, through my filter. In this case, the letter is inseparable. I think that letters can be both figurative and abstract.

-Hmmm… it's quite confusing (laughs).

I agree. (laughs) Yes, it's hard to understand... For example, it's my interpretation of it, so it's different for everyone. Please take a look. I saw a flower on the side of the road. Let's say you painted it. I think painters draw it from the shape of the flower. But for me, the shape reminds me of the word "flower" and I draw it. In other words, even if I drew the same picture, I drew it from the figure and the character, and I drew it from the character. It means that it is very different from the ones. I hope this gives you some idea.

-(laughs) Once you go through the process of "writing" in your mind, you're able to The resulting "picture" is completely different from the shape of the flower itself, isn't it? By the way, Mr. Ichikawa does both calligraphy and BOKUSHO, but only calligraphy and BOKUSHO can be used to express your work. Can you tell us about the different aspects of calligraphy?

In calligraphy, there is no room for misspellings and omissions, so I express myself within a set of rules. This is unique to calligraphy and cannot be expressed in ink. I have to find out how to bring out my own color, character style, margins, flow, sharpness, breath, etc. I am attracted to the fact that there is no such thing. BOKUSHO expresses itself without any rules. This is completely different from calligraphy, and it is impossible to express it in calligraphy with rules. The charm of BOKUSHO is like a mirror that reflects my mind, and the work can change depending on my mood at that time and even on that day. It changes. I'm fascinated by the unknown.

-When it comes to Mr. Ichikawa's calligraphy, you can tell at a glance that it's his, so it's true. You said "Mr. Ichikawa's color", right? About the BOKUSHO, you said before that your BOKUSHO is not a coincidence but inevitable. Is it being experimented on quite a bit?

In my case, I start out with the idea of writing something like this. But in the end, the image gets lost in the haze. When I'm taking a walk or looking up at the night sky, an image comes to me suddenly. It's a race against myself to see how far I can capture it. Since I have a clear image in my mind from the beginning, the finished work is inevitable It is a good idea to use the most appropriate paper and ink to match the image. In order to get close to the image, the most suitable paper and ink are essential. Naturally, the expression of ink changes by paper, so we have to make up our own ink.

City Suiho Kawa

-In order to faithfully reproduce the image inside of you, you need to understand the combination of paper material and ink. In order to do that, various experiments are necessary.

If we look at the material columns for “Holy Forest” and “Resonance” that are exhibited in this gallery, we can understand the particulars of the use of multiple inks, paper, and other paints. Acrylic and vinyl chloride are also used for these two works. Can you tell us your intention to use a material different from paper?


City Suiho Kawa resonance monochrome painting in India ink black splinter"Resonance"

If there is a provision, I must perform best in that provision.

It is essential to improve my skills as a specialist, and I am always repeating itself.

On the other hand, If there is no provision, it is a battle to see how close I can reach my vision.

There are circumstances that cannot be reproduced only with ink, pigments, Japanese paper, painting paper.

A musician said that the sound in my head doesn't really exist, so I can't create a song.

I really sympathize with it.

I'm always looking for materials to recreate the vision that came down in my head.

The material of the ”Holy Forest" and "Resonance" was indispensable for reproducing the image in my head.

-I see. The work of the BOKUSHO is the one that embodies the image in your head. It is interesting to see the work again from such a viewpoint, including the fact that it is from a letter to a picture. 

I would like to ask you about your future prospects, but if you have a vision of what you would like to be a calligrapher or an ink artist, and what kind of work you would like to create, I would like to ask you. 

I am still interacting with artists from various genres in Japan and abroad, and I hope that many people will see more and more people who can see Japanese calligraphy and BOKUSHO.

In order to do that, I would like to devote myself as a calligrapher as an BOKUSHO artist so that I can receive more offers.

With regard to the work, I always want to pursue new possibilities.

-Thank you very much for today.

Thank you very much.



Mr.Ichikawa's commitment to embody the image in his head is impressed. When I heard a hot story that he was experimenting with ink and other paint formulations and materials every day, I felt like a chemist as well as an artist. It is also a romanticist and a realist. I feel that is the charm of Mr. Ichikawa and his work.

I want the person who read the interview to see his work again. I'm sure you'll see things you couldn't see.

List of city Suiho Kawa works

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