Freehandwriting Mingei, An Art Retreat in Japan

Calligraphy Monica Dengo Calligrafia
Class Info:
  • May 20-28, 2023
  • Monica Dengo, Satsuki Hatsushima
  • Japan
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Mingei, An Art Retreat in Japan, with Monica Dengo

"Pattern is the essence of beauty, form reduced to its primary elements" Soetsu Yanagi 

Location: Kama, Fukuoka Prefecture
Arrival date: May 20, 2023
Departure date: May 28, 2023

To see some images of prewie Wabi Sabi Moe 2018, visit a Flickr Albums 
For more information and subscription View/Download a Brochure

 We’ll experience the bond between mark, breath and our need to make marks. Mark making is the ‘materia prima’ of all written communication, in every form and in the infinites relations between orality and writing. We will investigate the ‘ductus’, the physical actions that regulate writing in every culture, and in particular we will look at the ductus in Japanese and Italian calligraphy.
The Class
During the whole week we’ll give special attention to the development of patterns in Japanese culture and folk art (Mingei). The originator of the Mingei movement, Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1061) about 90 years ago traveled around Japan visiting people doing various kinds of handwork and published information about them in magazines and elsewhere. He evolved a theory of why certain objects made by unknown craftmen were so beautiful, and became the founder of the Japanese folk crafts (Mingei) movement. We will be located in Kama city, in the Fukuoka prefecture.

Students will have the opportunity to make an artist book in a beautiful classroom, open at any time of day and night. There will be two special artisan’s days: one in Koishiwara, a small pottery village in the mountains where we’ll learn how to make marks on ceramic in Taketoshi Oota pottery studio, and one in Akizuki, another village in the mountains where we’ll learn the process of making washi (Japanese paper) and we’ll make our own paper. Students will also learn how to paste Japanese paper on Western paper, using traditional Japanese techniques. During the week we will experience several mark making meditative exercises using calligraphic techniques and we’ll keep a sort of visual diary of our art experiences.
We’ll also visit the Entsu ji temple and the Umami Shrine, take walks and participate in a tea cerimony. At the end of the retreat we will exhibit all our artist books at the Kaho Alpe’s lobby.

Normal class time will be 9:30am to 4:30pm
Students can also stay in the classroom in the evening.
Maximum number of participants: 16.

Location and accommodation
We will live and work at Kaho Alpe, a location in Kama, Fukuoka Prefectur. Here students will have their accommodation in single or double rooms and will have access to a beautiful large classroom, open at any time during day and night.

Flying to Japan and arriving at Fukuoka:
Some of you may arrive at Fukuoka International Airport (FUK) from your countries directly. You may transit at Haneda and take domestic flight to Fukuoka.

Fee, deposit and registration:
First contact me at to know if there are spaces available and to receive all the information.

Contact me Here


Anyone interested in the arts of lettering, calligraphy and verbal/visual communication is invited to apply. These courses are particularly valuable for graphic designers, type designers and artists.

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