© 2019 mitografico



1955 愛媛県生まれ/1985 グラフィックデザインスタジオ ミトグラフィコ設立/1990 作品集「sho by mito」を出版/1990-92 書の個展を日本各地で開催/1991 書をモチーフとしたポスター「花」「水」「鴬」で国際タイポグラフィ年鑑グランプリを受賞/1991 「日本の伝統音楽」CDジャケット デザインで国際タイポグラフィ年鑑入賞/1992 ポスター「色相の詩学展」「ポップアート展」で神奈川ポスター展優秀賞受賞(神奈川県川崎市民ミュージアム収蔵)/1998 世界医師学会主催核廃絶運動シンポジウムにポスター出展/1998 「リョービ書体ポスター百花展」参加/1999 「書の印象美登英利一人展」東京神田文房堂で開催/2000「陶器と書二人展」東京仁秀ギャラリーで開催/2009 詩と書二人展を東京HABA銀座店で開催/2009 作品集「書林」を出版/2011 一般社団法人日本デザイン書道作家協会アドバイザー就任/2011 日中韓タイポグラフィの祭典 タイポジャンチに出展

Hidetoshi Mito

Born in Ehime Prefecture, Japan in 1955.
1985 founded own company mitografico in Tokyo Japan.  
1990 published a book of calligraphy works, sho by mito.
1990-92 held an exhibition of calligraphic works at various places across Japan.
1991 award a grand prix of International Typography Almanac for calligraphy posters "HANA (Flowers)", "MIZU (Water)" and "UGUISU (Bush Warbler)".
1991 a winner of International Typography Almanac for CD cover design "Japanese Traditional Music".
1992 award a prize of Kanagawa poster exhibition for "The World of Pop Art" and "Poetic of Hue" (owned by Kawasaki City Museums Collection).
1998 exhibit a poster for Nuclear Free Symposium by world medical association.
1998 exhibit to "Blooming Typefaces from Ryobi".
1999 held an exhibition "Impressions of Sho" at Bunpodo Galley Tokyo.
2000 held a joint exhibition "Pottery and Calligraphy" at Galley Ninsyu Tokyo.
2009 held an exhibition "Poetry and Sho" at shop HABA Ginza.
2009 published a work book of sho, Shorin.
2011 assumed an advisor of Japan Design Calligrapher's Association.
2011 exhibit posters for Seoul International Typography Biennale "TYPOJANCHI" at Seoul Korea.










私は文字を描くという行為からさらに一歩進めて文字の風景化ということを模索しています。文字がシーンとなる、それは絵画としての文字に込められたメッセージが、私の人生観や自然観と重なり合って文字に風景が与えられることにほかなりません。文字本来の持つ意味に起因しながら、文字を絵にするという段階から、さらに精神性を加えたステージへと書を展開させようと思っています。このアプローチの向こうに新たな書の姿を期待しています。  作品集 書林 後書より

The art of Japanese calligraphy is fragile.  Every stroke, such as the upward flip and a complete stop with the bleeding or dry brushing of the ink, is masterly intertwined and these strokes shape a form of letter.  When you draw calligraphy, you put the black ink, Sumi, drawn with one stroke, on the clean white paper.  If you displace a dot position a little or draw a pullout stroke too long, we will get a different taste from the appearance of a letter.

What matters is a letterform but its form has already been predetermined. What is left to drawers are details such as the bleeding or dry brushing, and these details are a result from chance that god only knows.  If you try to control them, then superficial techniques and artificiality come up to the surface of letters, and will incur a lack of style.  So after a succession of failures, I always face up to a white paper without any artificiality.  If I tried to draw a hundred times, I hardly saw anything to my liking.

I have never learnt the formal way of Japanese calligraphy called " Shodo." It seemed it was unapproachable and unsuitable for me from the start, to the way to adjust posture and hold a brush.  I was not interested in tracing the great examples of predecessors.  From my viewpoint as a graphic designer, I was attracted to calligraphy as a visual image or logotypes and always drawing letters in this way.  I didn't mean to find innovative value in an act of calligraphy but kept the value of "drawing" in my mind.  From the first days, it seemed to me that I had attached my mind to the act of "drawing."  I thought the act of "drawing" and typography which were a way to make my living were closely overlapping disciplines.

One day, I met with someone who led me to change my attitude to calligraphy. When Mr. and Mrs. Baumann, who were running a multi-disciplinary design office in Germany, came to Japan, I had the opportunity to talk with them at the party. After talking over many issues like each other's viewpoints of design, they asked me the following question.

“Mr. Mito, where do Chinese characters originally come from?”

Chinese characters originate from pictures.  Chinese characters are created from pictures each with different meanings that are called hieroglyphs.  These hieroglyphs had been symbolized and simplified over time and every character has deep meaning in its refined symbolic forms... Although I explained it to them in this way, a kind of small question arose in my mind.  At that time, I spent the days trying to deal with the Chinese characters “Hikari (light)” and “Yama (mountain)” from various approaches but was not happy with the results.  Meanwhile, the following conversation with them gave me some sort of a clue.

Why don’t you find out the original meaning of the letters, in other words, restore letters to their origin as pictures, instead of bound by the rules and conventional forms.  Taking “Hikari (light)” as an example, the letter Hikari itself is a compound of ideographs.  If we resolve this letter into its elements, it was made by combining pictures of "Hi (Fire)" and "Hito (human)".  So it means a picture of holding something shining up to a human’s head.  There was a Chinese bronze inscription in the Yin Dynasty which engraved a variant version of the letter Hikari that substituted Hito (human) with woman.  Interestingly, this replacement symbolized the ancient matriarchal society.  With such an idea of a letter as a picture, a picture as a letter, I tried to eliminate distraction from my mind as the next step.

There are various aspects of the light such as the strong sunlight of summer and soft sunbeams streaming through leaves in autumn.  I imagined these various lights and focused attention on expressing that as a hieroglyph.  The calligraphic work of Hikari through this process became the letter that had the characteristics like the light from the center in all directions.  It expressed the serene light in spring, so the bleeding brushing of the ink on Japanese paper became a part of the interpretation as a pictorial letter.

    In case of the letter “Yama (mountain),” I sped up progress on the act of drawing.  I could concentrate on drawing calligraphy with an innocent child's heart. This letter has a bare form with three vertical strokes directly expressing the metaphor of the head of mountains, so I expressed a mountain's four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter and drew with pictorial bold strokes.  It might not be able to be recognized as the letter Yama from the eye of Japanese people.  The mountain in spring has a serene look.  The mountain in winter is isolated in the bitter cold.  It was a delightful work that tried to express various aspects of such landscapes.

Then I took one step further from just drawing letters.  I am exploring ways of drawing letters such as scenery image.  The letter will be in harmony with the scene.  It is only because the message in the letter as a picture overlapped with my attitude on life and my view of nature.  It will invite the result of attaching the scenery image to the letters.  In addition to the level of pictorial drawing of the letter which is attributable to the nature meaning of its letter, I would like to add aspects of spirit and make progress to the next stage.  Beyond this approach, I have a high degree of expectation for the new form of Japanese calligraphy.  from Workbook SHORIN


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