As a third-generation calligrapher, I started learning “sho-do” (Japanese calligraphy) at the age of five. Since then, I have never forgotten the essential teachings about “shu (守) – ha (破) - ri (離)”.

I first practiced simple strokes and fundamental techniques for long years during the “shu” stage, learning the basics faithfully, protecting and respecting what has been passed down from ancient times. Then I stepped into the next stage of “ha” and broke with the traditions and teachings I had mastered. I made tremendous efforts afterwards to find and establish my original way in reaching the last stage of “ri”. Having built a solid foundation of traditional techniques and knowledge, and then making efforts to break with, I feel I could transcend all of them comprehensively. That is why now I am able to create, write and draw my works of calligraphy spontaneously without thinking. My own style of calligraphy, sometimes with poems and drawings, was established to this end.

I believe the figures of letters were formed and invented in order to communicate the minds of people beyond space and time. My aim as a calligrapher is to express and identify with the original pure heart of our ancestors, and to bring beautiful letters to life in this world we live in today.

I hope you enjoy my works, and I would be very happy if you could feel something from the letters, poems and drawings that I create.

Current Project “TEN TO CHI” (Heaven and the Earth)

Works of “TEN TO CHI” (Heaven and the Earth)

  • 中辺路への道
    The Road to Nakaheji

  • The Light

  • 瀉瓶

  • 華厳経唯心偈

  • 補陀落渡海

  • 阿字観

  • 一筋の光
    A Ray of Light

  • 天と地
    Heaven and the Earth

  • 花祭り
    Flower Festival

  • 蘇りの聖地
    Revive the Holy Place

  • 神倉神社 ゴトビキ岩
    Kamikura Jinja, Gotobiki-rock

  • 千畳敷

In 2009, Byakko Kashiwagi started to create a series of works under the theme of Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, a World Heritage site. In 2014, she held a personal exhibition “TEN TO CHI” (Heaven and the Earth), a calligraphic pilgrim dedicated to Kumano”. And in 2015 and 2016, the exhibition toured to Kumano, Ise and two venues in Tokyo.

She continues to travel to fields and mountains of the area and receive the messages from the land, and creates calligraphic works by poems and ink painting.

Representative Works

  • 美智子皇后陛下御歌碑
    waka poetry created by the empress Michiko

  • 雲峰観音

  • 蘇りの聖地
    Revive the Holy Place

  • 和シリーズ「アート和」
    ART WA(Peace)

  • 飛天

  • したたる星の歌声
    singing voice of dripping stars
    Create in New Zealand

  • 成田空港ロビー「般若心経」
    HANNYA SHINKYO Exhibited at the lobby of the Narita Airport

  • サンスクリット「般若心経」
    HANNYA SHINKYO in Sanscrit

  • マンダラ

  • 和泉式部和歌集
    The anthology of Izumishikibu

  • MOTHERシリーズ

Art “Wa” (Peace)


In the beginning
there were countless millennia of days and nights
forever the time passed
then, from the depth of the earth, through the sea
in the midst of the murmur of life
an unknown tree of vigor
grew high to the sky
ensiform branches piercing heaven like swords

Among the branches, emerged millions of butterflies
flying off the with the wind
their bright amber wings fluttering
and gliding over the ocean of conflict and love

When the butterflies reached the harbor of calm
still glowing, they sank to the abyssal depth of the sea
with ephemeral memories of feeble but worldly joys
with affectionate caresses
carrying the eternal message of hope
to join those proudly remembered souls
in the deep blue
sleeping in the silent peace

Prizes, Main Works, and Exhibitions by Byakko Kashiwagi

  • Grand Prize of “Mainichi Joryu Ten” in 1988
  • “Hannya-shinkyo (The Heart Sutra)” displayed at the lobby space of Narita International Airport (7 meters tall of calligraphy)
  • Collaborative performances with musicians such as Kitaro
  • Creating works in foreign countries such as Hawaii, Los Angeles, Mongol, and Nepal
  • Dedicating her works to Ise Grand Shrine, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Yasukuni Jinja Shrine and other shrines
  • Title of the exhibition, “The Silkroad: A Living History of Interaction” at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum
  • Signboard of the camp at al-Samawah in Iraq for the Japan Self-Defense Forces, Takachiho Jinja Shrine, etc.
  • Monumental Stone depicting the waka poem composed by Empress Michiko at Okinawa Gokoku Jinja Shrine
  • Dedicating her works and devoting herself to the recovery projects of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and to the Earthquake in Christchurch in New Zealand
  • Exhibitions:
    “Ink Art” at Ginza, Tokyo in 2006-09
    “Ten to Chi (Heaven and Earth) a calligraphic pilgrim dedicated to Kumano” in 2014, 2015, 2016
    Permanent Exhibition at the Lock Heart Castle in Gunma prefecture (launched in 2021)