Hekiun "Hiro" Oda(小田碧雲)
Chicago’s premier practitioner of Shodo, traditional Japanese calligraphy, Hekiun Oda was born in 1963 and grew up in Kobe City, Japan, a municipality which was known at that time for a large concentration of shodo masters. Oda began studying shodo at the age of 5 under Goun Katsura, himself a master. Oda moved to Chicago in 1990, and has held exhibitions and demonstrations at various venues, including the Japanese Cultural Institute and McHenry County College. In 2009, he established the Oda Japanese Calligraphy School and has taught over 100 students. Oda obtained a “Shihan” – the highest rank in shodo – in Nov. 2011 from Genshinkai, an association of calligraphers in Japan. 

For Oda, shodo is a reflection of the calligrapher's heart. He explores the beauty of this art form by re-imagining his encounters with life and nature in thin or thick lines and powerful or gentle strokes. It’s a highly intense moment when he is ready to move his brush because a stroke can’t be fixed once having been laid out. Oda’s artist vision is to create beautiful works based on his solid shodo foundation and to share them with the public. 

“Shodo is a high art that can be enjoyed by anybody regardless of your background,” Oda said. “I hope many people outside of Japan have a chance to appreciate shodo as an art.” 



Big brush demonstration, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago 50th Anniversary Event, the Palmer House, Chicago, Sept 13 2016


Commissioned to create the Kizuna logo for the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Photo Exhibit, Chicago 

Donated the Kizuna piece to the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois 

2012 – 2016 

The Kizuna piece is used at the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Photo Exhibit, Chicago 


Big brush demonstration, Japanese Cultural Institute, Chicago 

Demonstration, McHenry County College, Illinois 

Big brush demonstration, Amada America 40th Anniversary Event, Illinois

Solo exhibit, McHenry County College, Illinois

Calligraphy seminar, McHenry County College, Illinois 

Demonstration, Hitachi Medical Event, The Westin Chicago River North, Chicago 


Big brush demonstration, Japanese Cultural Institute, Chicago 

Big brush demonstration, Japan Festival, Illinois

Solo exhibit, Ai Restaurant, Chicago 


Exhibit, Japan Festival, Illinois 

Calligraphy seminar, Japanese American Service Committee, Chicago



Recommendation, Genshin Calligraphy Exhibit, Hyogo, Japan

Masterpiece Commendation, Hyogo Prefecture Calligraphy Exhibit, Hyogo, Japan


Masterpiece Commendation, Genshin Public Contest Exhibit, Hyogo, Japan

Special Commendation, Genshin Calligraphy Exhibit, Hyogo, Japan