Toko Shinoda
Mr. Shinoda insisted six year old Toko study calligraphy. In Japan calligraphy is not just beautiful writing, it is an art like painting. Over and over with her brush and ink, she copied words. Sometimes she got tired of it. Why was the word for "river" written with only three lines? Toko wanted
"to use more than three lines to show
the force of the river." Her teacher
marked her mistakes with red. Her
father scolded her!
TOKO'S STUDIO is filled with small and large brushes, hand-made papers, and ink sticks which she rubs on ink stones mixing the powder from rubbing the stick with water to make different shades of black and gray.
When Toko grew up, she experimented with her ink and brush. She wanted to show feelings, not just words or the way things looked – to capture a blowing breeze or her heart in motion. Toko thought landscapes, portraits and still-
life paintings only captured one moment, but abstractions could show "the possibility of the object." She hopes her art will have a different meaning for each person. A child will not see the same thing as a grandmother.
Toko was born March 28, 1913. She is still
Lynn B. Connor - Adventures in History
"always learning....
always dreaming."
Photos courtesy of
The Tolman Collection
Toko was born March 28, 1913. She is still