Professional Workshop (Journalism) invited prominent advertising director

On 20th May, students of College of International Relations on the ‘Professional Workshop (Journalism)’ course enjoyed a visit from guest speaker Fukushima Bisei Koshu (福島美生虎舟), formerly a creative director at the AsatsuDK advertising agency and now an artist, whose work, which uses an primeval form of kanji (kodai moji) as a start for expressive calligraphy crosses the border between writing and painting, and teacher.

Mr Fukushima had a long career in advertising, working primarily for Asatsu DK, he was also involved in overseeing the creation and development of Ritsumeikan University’s ‘R’ logo mark and institutional identity. The workshop session brought together Mr Fukushima’s two passions ‘communication’ and ‘calligraphy’, it invited students to think about how to express ideas in a very compact and abbreviated way - a television commercial is just 15 seconds long but, as Mr Fukushima explained, it is possible to communicate a lot during that brief time.

The session started with a discussion of the difference between tsutaeru (‘expression’) and tsutawaru(what ‘comes across’) and the potential difficulties involved in getting one’s ideas over to television viewers (who might be uninterested or distracted). He suggested that the key to successful communication, in this context, is to remove the unnecessary, to simplify and ‘cut away’ distractions. After hearing about the many advertising campaigns that Mr Fukushima had been involved in, students were tasked with imagining a new brand of sake or wine and choosing a kanji to represent what the brand stood for.

Picking a character that was meaningful, aesthetically pleasing and represented the right idea was far from easy but when we got started, students showed their artistic side and, with advice and encouragement from Mr Fukushima, everyone managed to produce something worthwhile, and in some cases quite beautiful.

Mr Fukushima afterwards praised the enthusiasm and open-mindedness of the participating students and said he is looking forward to coming again next year. Before that though, his work will be on display in a exhibition at Tokyu Bunkamura in Shibuya, 23 - 29 June 2016.

Professional Workshop (Journalism) is career development course in Japanese taught by expertized professors.


URL of the program.

URL for exhibition webpage

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