About Calligraphy

During France Shotokan 50th Anniversary in 2014, Ohshima Sensei drew and offered a customized calligraphy to each of his French students who played a unique role in the life of the organization and in the promotion of Shotokan Ohshima karate :  Presidents of the Organization, Presidents of Black Belt Council, our unique “Sempai” (Jacques Dupré), … 

This calligraphy he offered to Richard Hiegel in recognition of his involvement in the organization, especifically for his role as President of FSK from 1994 to 2006, reflects how he perceives him.

Its meaning is : “with one, penetrate this”, which he also explained as : “with this most sincere mind, penetrate this life / this existence”.


Second callygraphy of importance is the one Ohshima Sensei drew for the Ten no Mon dojo. Since 2010, Ohshima Sensei has stopped drawing but for very special occasion (50th Anniversary as an example). However he drew a very last one in December 2019 for the Ten no Mon dojo (thanks to Eli (Eliyahu) Cohen, Shihan of Israel Shotokan for his help).

Most likely it will remain the very last that Ohshima Sensei would have drawn. It has been carved by Alain Gabrielli on a piece of yew wood (from La Frillière) which stands at the dojo entrance.

Alain Gabrielli having carved a piece of yew wood with Ohshima Sensei’s Ten no Mon Calligraphy

In order to draw such a nice calligraphy, Ohshima Sensei has drawn about 1500 to 2000 draft before to keep only one original copy (actually two exist… but this is a secret), as he did for all the black belt diplomas he drew all along his life.

Piece of yew wood at the dojo entrance with Ohshima Sensei’s calligraphy carved by Alain Gabrielli