Kanazawa Shoko -- one of the most gifted Japanese calligraphers who was born in 1985 with Down syndrome.
She attended her big exhibition at the Tokyo Royal Museum yesterday, where she interacted with crowds of enthusiastic visitors -- smiling, shaking hands, taking photographs. So moving and inspiring.
Kanazawa started learning calligraphy at the age of 10 from her mother. Today her works hang in Japanese temples (including Kenninji -- one of the oldest zen temples in Kyoto) and museums all over the world (she exhibited in Paris and New York).
Her performances in temples and stadiums where she spreads huge sheets of paper on the ground and then uses a 20kg brush to write on them, attract enormous crowds.
People are moved by her energetic, visceral strokes. And by her personality.
Shoko exudes geniality and warmth. Despite her disability, she radiates happiness and sincerity which seem contagious.
Her mother, Yasuko Kanazawa, says that Shoko does not always understand what she writes. Yet, her calligraphy can bring people to tears.