Yukiko Nishimura: An Interview with Japan’s Shamanistic Calligrapher

“I feel a connection with the Gods and concentrate on expressing the meaning of the characters.”

Yukiko Nishimura

Yukiko Nishimura is an artist, calligrapher, designer, and business owner. She is an internationally recognized dress designer and the official designer for the Japanese contenders in the Miss International and Miss Earth beauty pageants. She also runs a successful wedding dress company called “Ar. Yukiko.” She continues to encourage and inspire people in many ways with her artistic talent. Nishimura will showcase her calligraphy work on TRiCERA. This interview gives an exclusive look into Nishimura’s background, the kanji characters she uses, and her connection to the Gods.

The Kanji Characters Nishimura Uses

“…it is the original form of the Kanji characters used in Japan today.”

Fortune by Yukiko Nishimura

We have never seen someone draw calligraphy of ancient Kanji characters. How were you first introduced to it?

I met a calligraphy teacher who only drew ancient Kanji characters, and I fell in love with it. After that, I started to study it and create my own work in an original way.

What are ancient Kanji characters?

It was used in ancient China around 3200 BC before paper was invented, and it is the original form of the Kanji characters used in Japan today. In ancient China, the rulers consulted the oracles, and those revelations were inscribed with ancient Kanji characters on animal bones and turtle plastrons (turtle shells).

A dragon by Yukiko Nishimura

What fascinates you about it?

As it is hieroglyphic – people who do not read Kanji can understand the meaning. In addition, because it is related to Shamanism, people who own my calligraphy work often tell me that my work has sacred power and can change the atmosphere of a room.

A Connection to The Gods

“These experiences enable me to draw calligraphy which I believe to carry sacred power.”

When you are doing calligraphy, what kind of emotions do you feel?

I feel a connection with the Gods and concentrate on expressing the meaning of the characters. The uniqueness of my work lies in each brush stroke that is elegant yet powerful which represents the characters as if the Gods are in the calligraphy.

What does it mean to you to draw ancient Kanji characters today?

I served as a shrine maiden for seven years from the age of 16 to 22 at a Shinto shrine. Also, I learned Shinto and Shamanism at a university that has educated 80% of the chief priest of Japanese Shinto shrines. I feel a strong connection to the Gods and felt that I could have conversations with them while I was working there. These experiences enable me to draw calligraphy which I believe to carry sacred power.

Flower by Yukiko Nishimura

Nishimura’s Calligraphy Work

“I choose to draw characters that will have a positive influence on the lives of those who view my work.”

You are currently working as a dress designer, entrepreneur of a wedding dress company, and artist. Are there any elements from these experiences that you incorporate into your calligraphy work?

I believe that both design and contemporary art require originality. My calligraphy work also conveys my own world view, something that cannot be imitated.

How do you decide what characters to draw?

I choose to draw characters that will have a positive influence on the lives of those who view my work.

What kind of people have bought your calligraphy work?

People who seek good luck for better performance such as big investors who invest billions of yen or athletes who have participated in the World Cup on the Japanese team have bought my calligraphy. It seems these type of people like to own light (光), God (神), and fortune (福).

Where to Buy Yukiko Nishimura’s Art

TRiCERA is proud to include many of Yukiko Nishimura’s calligraphy work among our growing offerings. If you are interested in learning more about other emerging artists from Japan, please visit our contemporary art page.

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TRiCERA

At TRiCERA we believe that “creativity has no boundaries.” We enable artists to offer their authentic artwork to art collectors by providing our porfessional services. We solve the problems of language barriers and complex overseas delivery services in order to connect Japanese artists to the rest of the world.

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