Toko Shinoda: Illustrations for “Uruwashiki Hibi”

Toko Shinoda

April 12 (Tue.) to July 8 (Fri.), 2022


Number of items exhibited



April 12 (Tue.) to July 8 (Fri.), 2022


2nd and 4th Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, April 29-May 8



About the Exhibition

Soon after the end of World War II, Toko Shinoda began creating avant-garde calligraphic drawings and attracted attention as a young and upcoming calligrapher. In 1956, she put all of her career in the world of calligraphy in Japan behind her and left for the United States. After returning to Japan in 1958, she opened up a world of “bokusho,” or abstract painting in sumi ink. Toko’s works of bokusho, with their pure and clean ink lines rich in expression, built on the disciplined brushwork she had mastered as a calligrapher, possess a beauty of universal appeal and receive high acclaim in Japan and abroad.
Besides abstract ink paintings, she wrote essays, created works as part of architecture, and designed book covers, among other fields of creative endeavor. Her creative work derives from her profound thinking and constant pursuit of innovation and originality in her art.
This exhibition shows some of the illustrations Toko drew for the total of 204 installments of a novel titled ”Uruwashiki hibi (Beauteous Days)” by Nobuo Kojima, and serialized in the Yomiuri shimbun newspaper from September 11, 1996 to April 9, 1997. On display are the small monochrome illustrations born out of her daily work of expression. These pieces give us glimpses of the artist’s trial-and-error processes of creation that cannot be seen in her highly polished large-scale works.

Special Cooperation: Gifu Prefectural Library