NANKOKU HIDAIVol. 8 Nankoku's Expedition to Europe- --Documents of Hard Struggles—



1912 0 Born on February 1 in Ogigayatsu, Kamakura, Japan (given name:Susumu).
1922-39 Studied calligraphy under his father, Tenrai Hidai, leading calligrapher and member of the Imperial Art Academy.
1934 22 Graduated from the printing department Of Tokyo Koto Kogei Gakkou (Tokyo Technological College).Took a job with the Land Survey Department of the army’s General Staff Office of Japan (currently renamed as Kokudo-Chiri-In).
1935 Given artist’s name Nankoku by Tenrai. Appointed member of Shodo Geijutsusha(Calligraphy Art Group).
1937 25 Appointed judge for exhibition of Dai Nihon Shodoin (Greater Japan Calligraphy Association).
1939 Death of Tenrai. Took over Tenrai’s library and collection and succeeded him in the directorship of Shogakuin (Institute of Calligraphic Studies).Married Kikuko Kiuchi (death due to illness in 1946).
1939-44 Succeeded Tenrai in editorship of calligraphy magazine Shοsei , promoting the spread of classical calligraphy; published several volumes of reproductions from his collection of archaic calligraphy.
1940 Appointed member of Committees for Exhibition of Dai Nihon Shodoin.
1942 30 Appointed judge for Exhibition of Koa Shodo Renmei (Association for the Promotion of Asian Calligraphy).
1945 The air raid intensified and Land Survey Department of the Army’s General Staff Office was destroyed by fire on May 25.Evacuated to Nagano Prefecture and initiated abstract calligraphy, calling it Shinsen Sakuhin (Spirit Line Work) based on ku-wen, a Chinese archaic spirit.
1947 35 Appointed judge for annual exhibition of Nihon Shodo Bijyutsuin (Japan Calligraphy Fine Art Association).
1948 Appointed permanent judge for Mainichi Shodo-ten (Mainichi Calligraphy Exhibition), a still current annual nation-wide event organized by Mainichi Newspaper.Married Yasuko Yamamasu (artist name, Shoha). Quitted the job of Kokudo-Chiri-In and established Yokohama Seihan Kenkyujo.
1954 42 Studied and rediscovered the ancient brush technique of fei-po (flying white) .
1957 45 Studied techniques of ink rubbing and applied this knowledge to own works.
1958-68 Planned to publish a series of books in English to be entitled The Art of Far Eastern Calligraphy and completed manuscript for Chugoku Shodoshi Jiten (A Dictionary for History of Chinese Calligraphy) in collaboration with Chukei Fushimi, scholar of Chinese calligraphy, and completed much of the English translation with the assistance of Mrs. Elise Grilli, scholar and critic of Japanese art.
1959 Lectured before the International Art Society, Tokyo.
1959-61 Toured the U.S. at invitation of Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco, where he taught calligraphy techniques and history at the school, and also held classes in his studio.
1962 50 Taught calligraphy to groups of foreign artists at International House of Japan, Tokyo. Helped organize“Tenrai Igyo-ten" (Exhibition of Tenrai Hidai’s Works and Legacy) with cooperation of members of Shogakuin.
1963 Second lecture tour of the U.S. Spoke at Rutgers University, Lehigh University, Brooklyn College, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, Maryland Institute and Japan Society in New York City.
1964-65 Toured the U.S and Europe; collaborated with Piere Alechinsky, Walasse Ting and Kurt Sonderborg in New York. Taught calligraphy to groups of artists in New York and New Jersey. Lectured at Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design, Princeton University, Antioch College, Mount Holyoke College, Earlham College, Smith College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, University of Massachusetts, U.S.A, Lectured in Europe at Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, the Netherlands; Bath Academy of Art, Royal College of Arts, Oxford University, Institute of Contemporary Arts, England; Städelschule (Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt), Universität Heidelberg, West Germany: Istituto Giapponese di Cultura, Italy.
1966 Lectured for Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai (The Society for International Cultural Relations), Tokyo.
1969 57 Completed manuscript for book Gan Kin-rei no Hi, Shodo Giho Koza (Monument Of Yen Ch’in-li by Yen Chên-ch’ing, Manual of Calligraphic Technique), Vol.V. Nigensha,1969. Reestablished Shogakuin Publications (inactive since1944), including editing and publishing of Tenrai's works, republishing of the old rare Japanese and Chinese calligraphy books.(The twenty-volume Gakusho Sentei of Tenrai, eight-volume Chinese calligraphy book Yoseisai Jo and several other books were published). Fifth tour of the U.S. taught at University of California Extension, San Francisco.
1970 Lectured for Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, Tokyo.
1971 Sixth tour of the U.S., lectured at University of California Extension, San Francisco.
1972 60 Helped organize ”Hidai Tenrai Seitan Hyakunen-ten" (Exhibition on the Centennial of the Birth of Tenrai Hidai) with cooperation of members of Shogakuin. Death of Shoha Hidai. Seventh tour of the U.S. Cooperated to organize “ Shodan Zen’ei---Sho no Tankyu ten”(Exhibition of Calligraphic Quest by Avant-garde Calligraphers).
1974-75 Helped establish Tenrai Kinenkan (Tenrai Memorial Museum) at Tenrai’s native place in Nagano prefecture.
1977 65 “Magai Takuhon-ten” (Exhibition of Cliff Monument Stone Rubbings) at Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, introduced old Chinese stone rubbings owned by Shogakuin, in four exhibitions.
1977-78 Toured the U.S. Studied over 10,000 pieces of the ancient stone rubbings of Chinese calligraphy, formerly owned by the Mitsui Bunko, at the East Asiatic Library of the University of California Berkeley.
1981-33 Introduced eight kinds of own works on Iketsu Butsuganhi and other old Chinese calligraphic works in publishing four-volume Kohijo Rinsho Seisen series by Nichibo Shuppansha.
1983 71 Co-edited and written three-volume Gendai Sho (Contemporary Calligraphy), published by Yuzankaku Publications.
1987 75 Publication of Chugoku Shodoshi Jiten (A Dictionary for History of Chinese Calligraphy), by Yuzankaku Publications. Published a volume of works selected by the author, Hidai Nankoku Sakuhinsyu (Shogakuin Publications).
1999 87 Died on October 15, at the age of 87.


1937 25 “Shodo Geijutsusha-ten” (Exhibition of Calligraphy Art Group), Tokyo.
1937-41 Annual “Dai Nihon Shodoin-ten” (Exhibition of Greater Japan Calligraphy Association), Tokyo.
1941 29 “Koa Shodo Renmei-ten” (Exhibition of Association for the Promotion of Asian Calligraphy), Tokyo.
1946 34 First abstract calligraphy Shinsen Sakuhin , exhibited in Japan at “Gendai Bijutsukyokai-ten” ( Modern Fine Art Association Exhibition), Tokyo.
1946-57 Annual ” Nihon Shodo Bijutsuin-ten” (Japan Calligraphy Fine Art Association Exhibition), Tokyo.
1948-85 Annual “ Mainichi Shodo-ten” (Mainichi Calligraphy Exhibition) /”Mainichi Zen’eisho-ten” (Mainichi Avant-garde Calligraphy Exhibition), Tokyo.
1954-55 Several works of fei-po exhibited at “ Mainichi Shodo-ten”, Tokyo.
1955-56 Exhibition of “Contemporary Japanese Calligraphy: The Art of Ink” ,touring Europe(domestic show at National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo 1955).
1956 44 One-man shows (Feb. and Oct. ), Yoseido Gallery, Tokyo.
1956-60 Initiated and exhibited in annual “ Hidai Tenrai Kinen Zen’eisho-ten” (Avant‐garde Calligraphy Exhibition in Memory of Tenrai Hidai), Muramatsu Gallery, Tokyo.
1957 45 “Gendai Shodo-ten/Calligraphy in Japan”, Sankei Kaikan and Ginza Matsuzakaya Department Store, Tokyo.
1958 “Nihon Zen’eisho-ten” (Japan Avant-garde Calligraphy Exhibition), Ginza Gallery, Tokyo. “Dai-ikkai Zen’eisho Daihyosakka-ten” (First Exhibition of Representative Avant-garde Calligraphers) organized by Mainichi Newspaper, Sogo Department Store, Tokyo. Exhibition of “Chusho Kaiga no Tenkai” (The Development of Japanese Abstract Painting), National Museum Of Modern Art, Tokyo. One-man show, Yoseido Gallery, Tokyo.
1959 47 Ten works exhibited at “ Domestic Show of Exhibits for Fifth Biennial of São Paulo, "National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo One-man show, Muramatsu Gallery, Tokyo. One-man show, Gallery A, Melbourne, Australia. One-man show、Yoseido Ga11ery, Tokyo. "Dai-nikai Zen'eisho Daihyosakka- ten" (Second Exhibition of Representative Avant-garde Calligraphers), Shirokiya Department Store Tokyo. Four-man show, “Traditie en Vernieuwing in de Japanse Kunst" (Tradition and Revolution in the Japanese Art), Rijksumuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, the Netherlands. Five works exhibited at the“ Fifth Biennial of São Paulo”, São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, Brazil.
1960 Exhibition of “Modern Painting and Sculpture from California Collections” , University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley. One-man show″(with ancient ink rubbings of calligraphy), David Cole Gallery, Sausalito, California. One-man show, M.H.de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco. One-man show, Nippon Club, New York City.
1961 One-man show, Mi Chou Gallery, New York City. Exhibition of“Japanische Kalligraphie der Gegenwart" (Contemporary Japanese Calligraphy), sponsored by Kunstverein Freiburg, West Germany. One-man show (with works by American students), Muramatsu Gallery, Tokyo
1962 50 Participated in” Tenrai Igyo-ten" (Exhibition of Tenrai Hidai’s Works and Legacy), Nihonbashi Takashimaya Department Store, Tokyo. Exhibition of “4000 Years of Oriental Calligraphy," Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. Exhibition of“Sinn und Zeichen, Kalligraphien Japanischer Meister der Cegenwart” (Meaning and Symbol, Masters of Contemporary Japanese Cal1igraphy), Darmstadt, Augsburg and Berlin, West Germany. Exhibition of "Recent Acquisitions: Painting and Sculpture", Museum of Modern Art, New York.
1962-64 “Japanese Contemporary Sumi Painting” , touring the U.S.
1963 Exhibition of“Schrift und Bild ---Art and Writing”, Baden-Baden, West Germany and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Touring exhibition of“ Modern Japanese Calligraphic Painting”, Museum of Modern Art and Design of Australia, Melbourne and eight Other cities in Australia. Exhibition of“Paintings by Six Contemporary Japanese," Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Dai-ikkai Gendai Shodo Shusaku-ten” (First Contemporary Calligraphy Show), BSN Niigata Art Museum. One-man show, Mi Chou Gallery, New York City. “ Dai-ikkai Gendai Nihon Shoka Sanjunin-ten" (First Exhibition of Thirty Contemporary Japanese Calligraphers), sponsored by Tokyo Times, Shinjuku Isetan Department Store, Tokyo.
1964 One-man show, Tsubaki Kindai Gallery, Tokyo. “ Dai-nikai Gendai Shoka Sanjunin-ten" (Second Exhibition of Thirty Contemporary Japanese Calligraphers), sponsored by Tokyo Times, Shinjuku Isetan Department Store, Tokyo.
1964-65 Touring Exhibition of “Contemporary Japanese Painting,” Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and four other cities in the U.S.
1965 One-man show, Mi Chou Gallery, New York City. One-man show, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey. “Tenth Mary Washington Annual Exhibition of Modern Art," Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia, Fredericksburg. “Kakusakai Sho-ten” (Kakusakai Calligraphy Show) Bansui Gallery, Tokyo.
1966 One-man show, San Francisco Museum of Art. One-man show, Henry Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle. “Dai-nikai Gendai Shodo Shusaku-ten" (Second Contemporary Calligraphy Show), BSN Niigata Art Museum.
1967 55 One-man show, Okura Gallery, Tokyo.
1967-68 Exhibition of “ Contemporary Japanese Abstract Calligraphy", Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.
1968 “Shodo: Sumi no Geijutsu-ten” (Calligraphy: Art of Ink Exhibition), BSN Niigata Art Museum.
1968-70 Annual “Gendai Shodan Meiryu―-ten" (Exhibition of Masters of the Contemporary Calligraphic World), sponsored by Tokyo Times, Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Department Store, Tokyo.
1970 Fine Arts Exhibition Expo 70: Discovery of Harmony,“ Expo Museum of Fine Arts, Osaka.
1970-85 Annual exhibition of "Genbu Shodo-ten" (Genbu Calligraphy Exhibition), Ginza Mitsukoshi Department Store, Tokyo.
1971 “Gendai Nihon Shodo-ten" (Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese calligraphy), Organized by Mainichi Newspaper touring the U.S. Two-man show by Nankoku and Shoha Hidai, Galerie Lambrette, Frankfurt.
1972 60 Exhibition of “Very Small Paintings/Objects/Works on Paper", University of Iowa Museum of Art.“ Hidai Tenrai Seitan Hyakunen-ten" (Exhibition on the Centennial of the Birth of Tenrai Hidai), Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Department Store, Tokyo.
1972-73 Annual“Shodan Zen'ei--Sho no Tankyu-ten" (Exhibition of Calligraphic Quest by Avant-garde Calligraphers), Gallery Center Hall, Tokyo.
1973 Exhibition of“Contemporary Calligraphy in Japan" Art-Asia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1975 63 Tenrai Kinenkan Kaikan Kinen-ten" (Commemorative Exhibition on the Opening of the Tenrai Memorial Museum), Tenrai Memorial Museum, Nagano prefecture. 1976-77 "Touring Exhibition of “ Moderne Japanische Schreibkunst" (Modern Japanese calligraphy), Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, and four other cities in West Germany.
1979 67 Exhibition of “Contemporary Calligraphy," Chicago, Illinois. One-man show, as a part of Festival Nieuwe Muziek(Festival of Modern Music), Middelburg, the Netherlands.
1987 75 One-man show, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo.