Nankoku Hidai


  • NO.27

  • 61-1

  • 63-4

  • 64-6


He was born in 1912, as the second son of Tenrai and Shokin. After death of Tenrai, he took over ‘Shogakuin’ (Institute of Calligraphic Studies) and managed Tenrai’s valuable collection of rubbings, ancient Chinese calligraphy books. At the same time, in Shogakuin Publications he continued to publish ancient Chinese books; he promoted the spread of
classical calligraphy.

In 1945, he wrote ‘Den-no-Variation’( Lightning -Variation), the first avant-garde work apart from the characters for the first time in history of calligraphy, showed the following year, and created a sensation in the calligraphy world.

14 times One-man-shows in Tokyo, New York etc. Requested exhibits in many contemporary calligraphy or fine art exhibitions. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and notable collectors purchased his works. Also, he lectured the accurate history of calligraphy at more than 20 universities, such as Princeton University in America, Oxford University in England.
In 1999, Died on October 15, at the age of 87.


Official website

[Solo Exhibitions]

1956 One-man shows (Feb. and Oct. ), Yoseido Gallery, Tokyo.

1959 One-man show,Muramatsu Gallery, Tokyo.

One-man show, Gallery A, Melbourne,Australia.

One-man show、Yoseido Ga11ery, Tokyo.

1960 One-man show, Young Memorial Museum,San Francisco.

One-man show, Nippon Club, New York City.

One-manshow″(with ancient ink rubbings of calligraphy), David Cole Gallery,Sausalito, California.

1961 One-man show, Mi Chou Gallery, New York City.

One-man show (with works by American students), Muramatsu Gallery, Tokyo

1963 One-man show, Mi Chou Gallery, New York City.

1964 One-man show, Tsubaki Kindai Gallery, Tokyo.

1965 One-man show, Mi Chou Gallery, New York City.

One-man show, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey.

1966 One-man show, San Francisco Museum of Art.

One-man show, Henry Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle.

1967 One-man show, Okura Gallery, Tokyo.

1979 One-man show, as a part of Festival Nieuwe Muziek(Festival of Modern Music), Middelburg, the Netherlands.

1987 One-man show, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo.

[Group Exhibitions]

1937 “Shodo Geijutsusha-ten” (Exhibition of Calligraphy Art Group), Tokyo.

1941 “Koa Shodo Renmei-ten” (Exhibition of Association for the Promotion ofAsian Calligraphy), Tokyo.

1946 First abstract calligraphy Shinsen Sakuhin , exhibited in Japan at “GendaiBijutsukyokai-ten” ( Modern Fine Art Association Exhibition), Tokyo.

1946-57 Annual ” Nihon Shodo Bijutsuin-ten” (Japan Calligraphy Fine ArtAssociation Exhibition), Tokyo.

1948-85 Annual “ Mainichi Shodo-ten” (Mainichi Calligraphy Exhibition) /”MainichiZen’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, Tokyo1955).

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 “Gendai Shodo-ten/Calligraphy in Japan”, Sankei Kaikan and GinzaMatsuzakaya Department Store, Tokyo.

1958 “Nihon Zen’eisho-ten” (Japan Avant-garde Calligraphy Exhibition), GinzaGallery, Tokyo. “Dai-ikkai Zen’eisho Daihyosakka-ten” (First Exhibition ofRepresentative Avant-garde Calligraphers) organized by MainichiNewspaper, Sogo Department Store, Tokyo.

Exhibition of “Chusho Kaigano Tenkai” (The Development of Japanese Abstract Painting), NationalMuseum Of Modern Art, Tokyo. One-man show, Yoseido Gallery, Tokyo.

1959 Ten works exhibited at “ Domestic Show of Exhibits for Fifth Biennial ofSão Paulo, “National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

“Dai-nikai Zen’eishoDaihyosakka- ten” (Second Exhibition of Representative Avant-gardeCalligraphers), Shirokiya Department Store Tokyo.

Four-man show,“Traditie en Vernieuwing in de Japanse Kunst” (Tradition and Revolutionin the Japanese Art), Rijksumuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, theNetherlands.

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. 

1961 Exhibitionof“Japanische Kalligraphie der Gegenwart” (Contemporary Japanese Calligraphy), sponsored by Kunstverein Freiburg, West Germany. 

1962 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, KalligraphienJapanischer Meister der Cegenwart” (Meaning and Symbol, Masters ofContemporary Japanese Cal1igraphy), Darmstadt, Augsburg and Berlin,West Germany.

Exhibition of “Recent Acquisitions: Painting andSculpture”, 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, WestGermany and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Touring exhibition of“Modern Japanese Calligraphic Painting”, Museum of Modern Art andDesign of Australia, Melbourne and eight Other cities in Australia.

Exhibition of “Paintings by Six Contemporary Japanese,” LehighUniversity, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Dai-ikkai Gendai Shodo Shusaku-ten” (First Contemporary Calligraphy Show), BSN Niigata Art Museum.

 “ Dai-ikkai Gendai NihonShoka Sanjunin-ten” (First Exhibition of Thirty Contemporary JapaneseCalligraphers), sponsored by Tokyo Times, Shinjuku Isetan DepartmentStore, Tokyo.

1964 “ Dai-nikai Gendai ShokaSanjunin-ten” (Second Exhibition of Thirty Contemporary Japanese Calligraphers), sponsored by Tokyo Times, Shinjuku Isetan DepartmentStore, Tokyo.

1964-65 Touring Exhibition of “Contemporary Japanese Painting,” CorcoranGallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and four other cities in the U.S.

1965 “Tenth MaryWashington Annual Exhibition of Modern Art,” Mary Washington Collegeof the University of Virginia, Fredericksburg.

“Kakusakai Sho-ten”(Kakusakai Calligraphy Show) Bansui Gallery, Tokyo.

1966 “Dai-nikai Gendai ShodoShusaku-ten” (Second Contemporary Calligraphy Show), BSN NiigataArt Museum.

1967-68 Exhibition of “ Contemporary Japanese Abstract Calligraphy”, EmilyLowe Gallery, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.

1968 “Shodo: Sumi no Geijutsu-ten” (Calligraphy: Art of Ink Exhibition), BSNNiigata Art Museum.

1968-70 Annual “Gendai Shodan Meiryu―-ten” (Exhibition of Masters of theContemporary Calligraphic World), sponsored by Tokyo Times,Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Department Store, Tokyo.

1970 Fine Arts Exhibition Expo 70: Discovery of Harmony,“ Expo Museum ofFine 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 Japanesecalligraphy), Organized by Mainichi Newspaper touring the U.S. Two-man show by Nankoku and Shoha Hidai, Galerie Lambrette, Frankfurt.

1972 Exhibition of “Very Small Paintings/Objects/Works on Paper”, Universityof Iowa Museum of Art.

“ Hidai Tenrai Seitan Hyakunen-ten” (Exhibition onthe Centennial of the Birth of Tenrai Hidai), Nihonbashi MitsukoshiDepartment Store, Tokyo.

1972-73 Annual“Shodan Zen’ei–Sho no Tankyu-ten” (Exhibition of CalligraphicQuest by Avant-garde Calligraphers), Gallery Center Hall, Tokyo.

1973 Exhibition of“Contemporary Calligraphy in Japan” Art-Asia Gallery,Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1975 Tenrai Kinenkan Kaikan Kinen-ten” (Commemorative Exhibition on theOpening of the Tenrai Memorial Museum), Tenrai Memorial Museum,Nagano prefecture.

1976-77 “Touring Exhibition of “ Moderne JapanischeSchreibkunst” (Modern Japanese calligraphy), Klingspor Museum,Offenbach, and four other cities in West Germany.

1979 Exhibition of “Contemporary Calligraphy,” Chicago, Illinois.