At the end of November 1959, Nankoku visited the United States of America as his first trip to the foreign country. His stay in the United States lasted for one year and five months until April 1961. He was scheduled to stay there further, but due to his wife's (小葩) illness, he returned home in a hurry.
As the standard-bearer of the avant-garde calligraphy, Nankoku's activities had been attracting remarkable attention before he went to the United States. In 1959, he was selected as the exhibitor along with Shiryu Morita at the 5th São Paulo Biennale. He moved to the United States at the end of that year and held his one-man show in New York in January 1961. At a time when Japanese artist’s activities abroad were rare, there was exceedingly great interest in the world of Japanese calligraphy and art regarding Nankoku's activities in the U. S. When he returned to Japan in June 1961, the radio interview in New York titled "Mr. Nankoku's calligraphic activities in the United States" was reported in "Calligraphy Art No. 7 “ (Japan Calligraphy Art Institute). Nankoku himself wrote an article in ‘Nihon Keizai Shimbun’ dated June 16, 1961 , titled ""American Calligraphy Life: Expressions No Less Than Orientals" (Partly in Nankoku Report Vol.15 Nankoku, Going to the U.S.A (1). On July 18, the Tokyo Shimbun carried an interview titled "Line Expression Doesn't Need Meaning – Nankoku Hidai Teaches Avant-Garde Calligraphy in the U.S." And Nankoku wrote an essay in the Asahi Shimbun on August 1 titled "Midsummer’s Ink Form –Kappa (Water imp) Country". The whole text of "Kappa (Water imp) Country " is introduced in Nankoku Report Vol. 1 .
For making use of his revisit to the U.S., Nankoku continued to write “The Art of Calligraphy” with Mrs. Elise Grilli, a critic for the Japan Times, and wrote letters to persons whom he had gained the acquaintance with in the U. S. At the end of 1961, his first one-man show was held at Muramatsu Gallery in Ginza (December 1-5). Nankoku's works changed dramatic much in 1961, after returning to the U.S. The former dynamism of the thick lines with the blurs went out and the reduced thin lines and dots were left like meteoric traces in the white space. However, these new works are never fragile, and the exquisiteness of the expression of thin lines (Hitsu-I) powerfully controls the space. Life in the United States made Nankoku break with pretension and eagerness, and made him create works in which he could express himself honestly at the heart.
At the same time, Nankoku held the exhibition of works by American artists and citizens whom he taught at San Francisco. The American who did not know the Chinese character and its meaning at all showed a wonderful line expression, and their works impressed the calligraphers in Japan.
From January 23 to 28, 1962, he held " Tenrai Igyo-ten” (Exhibition of Tenrai Hidai’s Works and Legacy) at Nihonbashi Takashimaya, hosted by “Shogakuin Dojinkai”( Shogakuin Members Group). Tenrai had been dead for 23 years, so Nankoku and Dojinkai organized the exhibition that praised the achievements of Tenrai, who had advocated the artistry of calligraphy and insighted into even the possibility of "Ink Form", as well the exhibition presented today’s calligraphy art that succeeded to Tenrai’s will and developed diversely .
From April 10 to June 19, 1962, Nankoku opened the “A Class on Calligraphy for Westerners” at ‘The International House of Japan’ in Azabu Toriizaka. The class was scheduled once a week, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, or from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. intended for Western artists living in Japan.
Outline of the art of calligraphy and Summary of the history of calligraphy
Basic training of brush stroke (1)
Tools for calligraphy (brushes, grinding-stone, etc.)
Basic training of brush stroke (2)
Materials for calligraphy (paper, ink, etc.)
Basic training of brush stroke (3)
How to choose models (copybooks) for study
Structure of Kanji (Chinese character) (1)
Development of styles of Kanji
Structure of Kanji (2)
Development of technique for brush stroke
Study classic model style (square style 楷書)
Ou-yang Xun (557-641 Early Tang Dynasty)
Yan Zhen-qing (709-785 Late Tang Dynasty)
Discrimination between correctness and error, discrimination between cleverness
Study classic model style (early square style or clerical style 隷書)
Sozen-hi (cao quan bei ) (monument A.D.185 Later Han Dynasty)
Sekimon-syo(shímén song) (monument A.D.148 Later Han Dynasty)
Hokaku-syo (monument A.D.172 Later Han Dynasty), etc.
Various types of mounts for calligraphy (lining, etc.)
Study classic model style (Seal-style)
Characters inscribed on oracle bones and tortoise shells (1800-1100 B.C. Shang-Yin 商-殷)
Inscription on old bronze vessels (1800-770 B.C. Shang-Yin, Xī Zhōu (西周 [copper ware])
Inscription in Qin Dynasty (Chin-seal style 221-206 B.C.)
Study classic model style (cursive style 草書 and semi-cursive style 行書)
Kukai (774-835 Heian era)
Michikaze Ono (896-966 Heian era)
Yukinari Fujiwara (972-1027 Heian era)
Wáng Xīzhī (王 羲之) (307-365? Eastern Jin)
Su Dongpo( Sū Shì ) (1036-1101 Northern Song)
Other Japanese and Chinese calligraphy masters
Essence of calligraphic art
Free interpretation of diverse styles (1)
(Using various materials and tools)
Overview of Modern Calligraphy
Free interpretation of various styles (2)
(1) Textbooks, paper, brushes, ink, etc. may be purchased in class at cost prices.
(2) Special tools will be lent by instructor.