As an artist, Chiyo’s passion has always been Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo). Shodo is essentially an art of movement, using ink, brush and paper to express thoughts and emotions in characters.
With complete focus, Chiyo imbues each brushstroke of the Japanese characters or “kanji” with meaning, power and rhythm. Chiyo’s goal is to make connections with people from all over the world through her art. Though her primary audience is unfamiliar with Japanese characters, she is known for using color, texture and line to successfully convey emotions and concepts through her art so others can intuitively sense its meaning. Chiyo uses acrylics, watercolor, mixed media collage and 3D techniques to create her own unique style.
Chiyo is also known for bringing calligraphy “off the page and onto the stage,” with her live calligraphy demonstrations — often performed in conjunction with other Japanese art forms. She has performed with Taiko drummers, “Noh” dancers and Koto players. These dynamic performances result in lasting artworks that reflect and expand on the work of the other performers.
Originally from Hiroshima, Japan, Chiyo began training in Japanese calligraphy at age seven. She started teaching Japanese calligraphy after graduating from Hiroshima Bunkyo Women’s University in 1995 with a teaching certificate and a degree in Japanese calligraphy. Since coming to the U.S. in 2000, Chiyo has made her home in Olympia/Lacey Washington. She regularly shows her work in art exhibitions throughout the Pacific Northwest.