The Shirakawa Shizuka Institute of
East Asian Characters and Culture

Based on the research results of the late Professor Emeritus Shizuka Shirakawa (Recipient of the Order of Culture),whose notable achievements were centered on oriental writing culture, the goal of the Shirakawa Shizuka Institute of East Asian Characters and Culture is to undertake educational and promotional activities broadly aimed at the general public, while also striving towards the development and advancement of research into East Asian characters and culture. It also aims to spread "Shirakawa Grammatology" both domestically and overseas, especially the East Asian region, while also becoming a hub for the research of oriental characters and culture within East Asia.

Major Activities of the Institute

  • Research regarding Shirakawa Grammatology and East Asian characters and culture
  • Presentation of Ritsumeikan Shirakawa Shizuka East Asian Characters and Culture Award
  • Publication of research results through books and journals
  • Educational activities/promotional activities for the general public
    (Implementing and developing learning material, etc. for the Kanji Educator Qualification Certification Course)
  • Organization of lectures, international symposiums, etc.

01About Professor Emeritus Shizuka Shirakawa

Professor Emeritus Shizuka Shirakawa possessed a broad perspective that saw the cultural similarities between Japan and China within the East Asian region. He systematized the original meaning of kanji characters through studying their forms, and built up an inventive body of research about the ancient cultures of China and Japan. This unique theory was named "Shirakawa Grammatology",and received high praise from both domestic and international academia.The research of Professor Emeritus Shizuka Shirakawa originated for an interest in the ancient society of Japan, then spread to ancient China due to the necessity for comparative research. In the end, this ambitious research expanded to the entire cultural region that used Chinese characters. He became a Person of Cultural Merit in November 1998 and received the Order of Culture in November 2004.

Professor Emeritus
Shizuka Shirakawa

02About Shirakawa Font

Shirawakawa Font was developed and released with the aim of being widely used for research related to Shirakawa Grammatology and kanji education. Ancient scripts such as oracle bone and Chinese bronze have been difficult to use on computers until now, but this system means they can be easily utilized on standard word processing software. It is actually now possible to batch convert multiple numbers of 4,000 ancient characters.

"Sai" in Shirakawa font, which is also the logo of the Shirakawa Shizuka Institute of East AsianCharacters and Culture. The starting point of Shirakawa Grammatology.