Japanese Calligraphy: Colour

This is a series of workshops designed by Azumi Uchitani to explore Japanese culture through the art of calligraphy and language. We will meet bi-weekly, slowly moving from season to season and uncovering new characters, rituals, concepts and beliefs deeply rooted in Japanese lifestyle. Each event we will centre around a new symbol: we will learn its meaning, discuss a poem about it, meditate and experience the power of the concept through calligraphy practice.

色 Iro: Colour

Colours and their symbolic meanings are a cultural construct which develops a new layer of meanings. Japan has a beautiful language of colours in art, fashion, verbal expressions and rituals. Even colours of kimono are carefully selected according to season and cultural colour code.

Unsurprisingly, most of the traditional colour names have their origin in the natural world – tied either to observation, or to the actual materials used to create dyes and pigments (like ‘fresh sprout green’ (moegi) or ‘simmered seaweed’ (mirucha)) or even to animals. For example, mouse was used to describe tones of gray: grape mouse (budou nezumi) for purple gray, Fuji mouse (fuji nezumi) for light purple gray or tea mouse (cha nezumi) for light brown gray.  The list of dent?shoku – a Japanese collection of more than a thousand of traditional colours – is an inspiring reminder to look closely at the wonders of the natural world around us. 

Join this Calligraphy session with Azumi Uchitani and contemplate about a significance of colour while practicing character Iro.


Azumi Uchitani is an Intercultural business consultant, keynote speaker, writer, artist and founder of Japanese SALON art & culture, based in the Netherlands. She is a two-times TEDx speaker, appearing Dutch TV and media and delivering talks to an international audience in Europe and in the US.
Azumi is on a mission to build an essential bridge between Japan and Europe, helping global leaders discover Japanese ancient wisdom beyond culture, teaching how to apply its wisdom in everyday life, act with inner peace and create
conscious leadership and fulfilling life. Azumi decodes the complexity of Japanese culture, tradition, philosophy, spirituality and unspoken rules into a simple essence of wisdom. She was born into a traditional spiritual Japanese family and raised with the teachings of Shingon Buddhism and Shinto. The spiritual and cultural practices, such as tea ceremony, flower arrangement, calligraphy have always been a part of her life, besides that, her grandmother was a kimono maker.
Her insights, a series of talks are available on her YouTube channel ‘5 minutes on Japanese Wisdom’ on YouTube.


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