Aesthetician Tsutomu Ijima (1908–1978) had a major influence on the Japanese avantgarde calligraphy that developed after World War II, but there has been no study that covers his claims in detail. Through the production of calligraphic works supported by Ijima’s claims, his influence has reached the present day. The purpose of this paper is to provide a new angle on how to evaluate postwar calligraphic works by closely examining Ijima’s views on calligraphy.
In addition to books published by Ijima, I have focused on his other writings, especially those published in calligraphy journals, as well as conversations. I collected as many of his statements as possible, organized and examined them to clarify his views on calligraphy, and explored other related issues.
As a result, I found that the bias in Ijima’s thinking toward traditional art had an impact on his view of calligraphy. This paper does not diminish Ijima’s reputation as an aesthete, but it does provide an important perspective for our future evaluation of calligraphic works produced using traditional methods.