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East and West - A Collaboration of Painting and Lettering

This page of Isshi Iwata's art and poetry is a collaborative project with five different calligraphers. From the swash of an Eastern inkbrush to the turn of a Western lettering pen, a unity of collaborative energy is born.

My sincere thanks to Isshi Iwata for the opportunity to feature his beautiful paintings and haiku with English calligraphy. Many thanks to the calligraphers for sharing their inspirations and talents, and to Etsuko Yanagabori for being our haiku bridge.

The process of this collaboration started with each calligrapher receiving one of Isshi san's paintings with the haiku. I also gave each calligrapher a photo of Issi san to introduce him and to close the gap of distance between kindred artists.

Through diverse cultural collaborations, we can share our experiences and expressions to add insight to each other's lives. As with linked poetry, the same creative rhythm and influence that only collaboration can offer is also shared with linked art. The tone was set by Isshi san's Eastern art and poetry. The calligraphers then responded by using their intuitive senses to develop a feel for the lettering style and form.

Even with cultural and historical differences, these artists brought together their brushes and ink to bond in creativity, spirituality, and kindness. Thank you to them all for their contributions and for sharing their arts and hearts.

Bette Norcross Wappner



Isshi Iwata

Watercolors & Haiku

Simply Haiku
July/August 2004
vol.2, no.4

Isshi Iwata was born in 1932 in Ibaragi-ken.

He graduated from Ibaragi University, with a degree in Art Education.

Isshi san was a junior high school art teacher. He then worked as a department store manager. Now, after retiring, he is a consultant for different companies.

He has written haiku for a little over 10 years, and is a "Doujin" member of Kusanohana Haiku Kai, a school taught under Master Fujita Akegarasu, in Japan.



Our special thanks to Etsuko Yanagibori for introducing Isshi Iwata to Simply Haiku. Without her kind assistance in submitting his paintings, haiku, and acting as liason, this feature would not have been possible.