Kaishin Makuta

Artist of Japanese Calligrapher


1947: May 6
th, born in Kitakyushu-city, Fukuoka prefecture.
1967: Entered Daito Bunka University as Chinese literature major. Studied under Toseki Ando.
1971: Graduated from Daito Bunk University. Became high school teacher in Chiba prefecture.
1972: Toseki Ando passed away. Kaishin’s alone challenge in calligraphy started.
1982: First exhibition in Ginza, Tokyo. Has since held his own exhibition every three years.
1998: Presented “Shohokyojuho” (Calligraphy teaching method) at The University of Maryland.
2001: Retired as high school teacher. Now teaches at Chiba University.
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Kaishin achieved the essence of beauty with his original and fluid movement brush-drawing over the course of a 50 year long career in calligraphy. His styles widely range from powerfully energetic to warm, finely detailed and elegant. All artworks are created exclusively with traditional brushes. Kaishin’s many expressions are truly unique.

When we stand up in front of his art and experience its overwhelming energy, we momentarily feel overshadowed in its greatness. You may then focus more steadily and recognize the delicate application of each line against the white paper. The ability to impress both elements highlights Kaishin’s extraordinary talent.

Kaishin’s unique and timeless approach influences calligraphy artists worldwide.

Kaishin's Style

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You may observe playful and elementary letter form in his work at first glance. Many Japanese calligraphy artists produce work intended to appear balanced and clean looking. Those works may initially look appealing, however the style is relatively common and synthetic. Many works can be found that feel contrived, awkward and ultimately boring.

However, Kaishin’s calligraphy is very organic, so audiences are fascinated with each line of the form, as well as the fine balance between the black lines and white paper. This style and sensation can be seen in the works of the French artist, Henri Matisse.

Kaishin’s style is classic, holds its appeal and always offers a fresh perspective as is the goal of any great artwork.

Sometimes people use a metaphor that art can have a conversation with the viewer. Kaishin’s previous works fit the metaphor well in that they were resonant with his general audience. His recent works however, are having a much more aggressively one sided conversation and require undivided attention from the viewer. Many viewers exclaim feelings of “power and courage”, and others are simply “cheered up” from Kaishin’s art.

Japanese Calligraphy is visually beautiful but can be enjoyed even more by understanding the meaning of the letters. Kaishin’s works have both visual beauty and legibility. Although some audience perceive his art as purely illustrative because of his distinctively unique lines and ingenious appearance, the words and thus meaning are still legible.


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The Art of Japanese Calligraphy

Sometimes calligraphy does not receive the respect it deserves considering the time it takes to be produced. Likening Japanese Calligraphy to a sprint race, traditional painting is comparatively like a marathon. A sprint race is finished quickly, however the effort to reduce 0.01 seconds equally compares with the effort required to run a marathon.

Kaishin spends incredible time creating original art. Although an individual small work can be completed within about ten minutes, he creates hundreds in order to create the perfect one. The difficult part is that the amount of writing doesn’t directly relate to the number required to produce the final impeccable piece. When he creates large pieces, he takes two hours to grind an ink-stick, fifty minutes to finish each individual drawing, and ten months to create the finished masterpiece.

Kaishin has never passed even one day without holding a brush since he started his practice when he was 16. He reserves 3-5 hours for practice everyday.

This is known as the “persistence of passion.”




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