(Nippon News) Kanazawa Shōko was born with Down syndrome but is today one of Japan’s most acclaimed calligraphy artists. The love and warmth with which she was raised have helped to turn the tears of her childhood into the applause and adulation of fans worldwide.
On March 20, 2015, Kanazawa Shōko made an inspirational presentation at the Fourth World Down Syndrome Day Conference, held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, concluding her remarks with the words, “May my calligraphy cheer people up and give them happiness and leave a warm impression in their hearts.”
Kanazawa Shōko was born in June 1985 in Tokyo. Her mother, Yasuko—who was 42 at the time—was ecstatic with the birth of her first child. Her joy, though, soon turned to despair when her doctor informed her that Shōko had Down syndrome. One day, as she was breastfeeding Shōko in tears, her young daughter reached out her tiny hand and wiped Yasuko’s tears away, smiling. “I was touched by Shōko’s will to live, her kindness, and her wisdom. She was the one who gave me the strength to live.” Since then, Yasuko and Shōko have been tied by the strongest of mother-daughter bonds.
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