Master of Masters – 380th Anniversary of the Death of Dong Qichang

Japan-China Calligraphy and Painting Exchange Forum


This autumn, the Japan-China Calligraphy and Painting Exchange Forum was held at Japan-China Friendship Center to commemorate the 380th anniversary of the death of Dong Qichang.

Dong Qichang was a renowned master of calligraphy and painting during the Ming and Qing dynasties of China, and his theories of painting and calligraphy are said to have had a great influence on modern painters and calligraphers in the Orient.

According to Mr. Tomoyuki Masuda (lecturer, Department of Calligraphy, Faculty of Letters, Yasuda Women’s University), a Dong Qichang specialist who was invited to the event, Qichang was a person who had studied many styles of calligraphy masters, including Wang Xizhi and Yan Zhenqing, from their original works, and passed them on to succeeding generations.

The exhibition was held to show great works by artists who inherit such educational thought, and to facilitate an exchange between China and Japan, so that the legacy of education can be passed on to the future generations.  

The art exhibition also incorporated events such as a lecture by Mr. Masuda and a calligraphy and painting session by Chinese and Japanese artists. 

Opening ceremony Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

The exhibition opened with a speech by Mr. Nobutoshi Akao, Senior Advisor of the World Art and Culture Exchange (Hereafter referred to as WAC).

Senior Advisor gave a speech which included the background of the Japan-China Calligraphy and Painting Exchange Forum, and introduction of past activities of WAC. 

赤尾顧問スピーチ 開会式


The speech was followed by congratulatory words from Mr. Zheng Chen, Counsellor of the Department of Culture of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Japan, which supported the event. He spoke warmly of China’s strong support for cultural exchange between the two nations, which shored up our resolution to continue with the art and cultural exchange between China and Japan.



The counsellor’s speech was followed by congratulatory words from Tetsuji Nagata, Board Director of the Japan-China Friendship Association, which was also the supporter of the event.

The Board Director said that the Japan-China Friendship Association has been making efforts to promote youth exchanges, and is planning to hold many events to celebrate the next year’s 10th anniversary of “Japan-China Youth Friendship Year”, and that the year also marks the 45th year of the normalization of Japan-China relations.



Mr. Xianglin Zheng, a trustee representing China for the Japan-China Friendship Center, followed with his congratulatory speech.

He spoke in a friendly tone, giving a strong impression that China and Japan are the closest of friends. His remark was great encouragement for us organizer of the event.



The ceremony concluded with a speech by Mr. Guisheng Wang, representing the Chinese artists. He began his remarks by saying “Konnichiwa” in Japanese, and expressed his wish for the success of the Forum, which were interpreted by Mr. Jianxiong Zeng. 



Lecture on Dong Qichang by Mr. Masuda

Mr. Tomoyuki Masuda gave a lecture entitled “Dong Qichang and the Copybooks – The process of gaining prominence”.

Why did Dong Qichang gain prominence in the Ming and Qing dynasties? The lecture was truly fascinating, and many painters and calligraphers listened to the lecture by taking notes.

A calligrapher said “It was interesting to discover an aspect of Dong Qichang I was not aware of”, and another artist said “It was shocking to learn that Dong Qichang had calculatingly worked to gain fame, but it was a very impressive and interesting lecture”. The host takes pride in  that the lecture was a 100 percent success. 

増田知之先生 講演会の様子


Calligraphy Session

The session entitled “Japan-China Friendship Calligraphy-Painting Session” was attended by Messrs. Guisheng Wang and Yu Xiang Wang from the Chinese side. From the Japanese side, Messrs. Hosen Nakamura, Shisui Hamano and Chou Utsugita participated.

The Japanese artists started the session first in the order mentioned above.

Since there was a good balance of calligraphy genres from kana to kanji and then kana, and since the calligraphers were very familiar with calligraphy sessions, we saw calligraphic work created in a measured manner. 

The Chinese artists, Messrs. Guisheng Wang and Yu Xiang Wang, started working simultaneously and completed their paintings within a very limited time, surprising everyone around them.

王貴勝先生 王豫湘先生


After the session, group photographs with the artists were taken with their works in front, concluding all the events of the opening day.

The number of visitors reached an average of over 200 per day, resulting in a total of 1,000 visitors for the duration, and visitors seemed to have enjoyed viewing the calligraphic and painting works of Japan and China.