Shoka “Naoko” Stonelake
was born in Fukuoka, Japan.
Having grown up in Buddhist temple family, Japanese culture and arts have been always present in her life.
Naturally, she was drawn to Japanese calligraphy art and started Shodo from age 6. Her interest was cultivated while living with her grandmother who was practicing Japanese traditional art including calligraphy art, and then further developed when Naoko moved to the US. Her appreciation of her own culture grew as she started living in foreign country.
After Naoko trained as a teacher and instructor in Japan, she has operated a full Japanese immersion art program for youth and adult since 2010.
She has been certified as a calligraphy instructor from Bunka Shodo Japan since 2016.
Currently, She is pursuing a teaching certificate from the Japanese Etegami Association in Tokyo and Sogetsu school of Ikebana.
In her free time, she enjoys yoga, fermented food making, wellness and mindfulness activities.
About her name: Her birth name was "Naoko", and she kept her birth name for 26 years until she changed her name to Shoka.
She needed to change her name in order to participate in the training to qualify as a monk of the Jodo sect in Kyoto Japan.