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Kakubei - Master of Chinese and Japanese Calligraphy

Roxane Meilin Chock-Simon is Chinese-Hawaiian and her work is a reflection of this East-West blend. Marriage took Roxane to Tokyo, where she lived for almost 18 years. She cites her three greatest accomplishments during her life in Japan as:  reaching the pinnacle in the ancient Japanese cultural art form…achieving the titles of Master in Chinese Calligraphy and Master in Japanese Calligraphy; A Master’s Degree in International Finance from Sophia University (上智大学)  and most importantly, the birth of her two children.

Roxane began her formal training in Chinese Calligraphy in September 1996 after a special introduction to Grand Master Kakugetsu Sekei. Through her Grand Master’s invitation she joined the 5,000 member Heisei Calligraphy Federation 平成書道連盟, one of several calligraphy associations in Japan that control the many-layered process calligraphers must navigate in order to become a Master in either Chinese and/or Japanese Calligraphy.  A year later she began her formal training in Japanese Calligraphy and studied both art forms simultaneously.

roxane meilin chock simon

In 2000 after reaching the accomplished level of dan 段 she was entitled to designate a pen name. She selected Kakubei, combining kaku 鶴borrowed… as is custom, from the first Chinese character of her Grand Master’s name and bei 米 indicating her Chinese American roots.

In November 2005 Roxane became a Chinese Calligraphy Master 師範格.  In the 10 years since she became a Chinese Master, Roxane has been promoted 4 levels in the Master hierarchy and as of January 2015 attained the highest Master level of shihanteni 師範天位. In November 2006 Roxane became a Japanese Calligraphy Master and since has been promoted 3 levels. Her current Japanese Master ranking is shihanchii 師範地位. In order to have the opportunity to continue to be promoted within the ranks of the Calligraphy Federation hierarchy, Roxane monthly submits 4 Calligraphy pieces to Tokyo for judging. Chinese and Japanese Calligraphy are considered a life’s endeavor and for that reason Roxane travels back to Tokyo to continue to study under her Grand Master.

Roxane’s Chinese calligraphy is unique in method and style. “Simon’s works are a reflection of both her traditional training and foreign eye”. Unlike the majority of calligraphers she does not normally work on the traditional medium of white rice paper. She selects distinctive rice papers that are themselves works of art and then “fits” the Chinese character to the paper and vice versa. The last consideration is the framing of the piece, which can be in the form of a Japanese screen, silk scroll or traditional picture frame, which Roxane believes, is an equally essential step in the creation of her final piece.











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