Biography: (2) a dream

The biggest challenge for me was learning new languages. I had studied English, but long ago and only superficially, because of the changes in the school system after the war. Obviously it was going to be hard work, and I was well aware that I had little talent for learning foreign languages. So I left Japan, with my only support my gentle, loving husband, who was always been a great help to me.

Before I left, my master had spoken to me about his dream: to spread the art of calligraphy. I arrived in Montreal feeling somewhat confident and more than a bit worried. It was far from clear to me that I would be able to fulfil my master's expectations.

I got settled as best I could in this city. I started out by recruiting Japanese-born Montrealers as students. Gradually, Canadians of all backgrounds came to see me. The turning point came in 1980, when I finally founded the
Japanese Calligraphy School, where I would be able to teach this art in a more structured and pleasant setting. The next step was to organize an. exhibition, to familiarize Montrealers with our work. After discussing it at length with my more advanced students, I decided to return to Japan to plan the exhibition. Through a friend, I was introduced to the head of the Japan Calligraphy Education Foundation, the leading organization in this field. During our meeting, he strongly suggested that our school become his association's Montreal branch. In addition, he agreed to evaluate the work of our Canadian students hoping to obtain official certification at different levels. Following that decisive meeting, I was finally able to fulfil my dream: the first calligraphy exhibition was held in April 1982 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Since then, the exhibition has become an annual cultural event, back this year for the sixteenth time. In January 1984, we also opened a school in Quebec City. Since then, large numbers of students have taken up calligraphy at our two schools; some of them have been with us for more than ten years. If they wish, students may send their work to Japan and be officially certified in the different techniques.


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