Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blank Customer Wallscroll...

If the customer has the confidence to write, then they can order a blank scroll. I can just imagine a rabbit going on here for this years sign of the Zodiac...

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

What do you think will go on the scroll?

This turned out beautifully, with the Brown Ichimonji in the Maru Hyougu style. After the Fuchin Arrive I will take a better picture and then ship it off to the Land Down Under.
Name in Kanji Name in English Size in Bun Size in Centimeters Size in Inches


天                   Ten                    114
上一文字       Ue Ichimonji         14

紙本の幅さ    Artwork Width    113

紙本の長さ   Artwork Length     323

柱                  Pillars                      15

下一文字      Shita Ichimonji           8

地                  Chi                           85

掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width          143

掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length         544

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Did I disappear...

I have been busy with several scrolls this month. I should have three posted by next week and that will everyone something new to look at for the new year...

Jonathan Maples

Monday, December 6, 2010

Customer Order Shikishi 色紙

This customer wanted her name written in the Sousho style. They also wanted it in Gyousho, but I am showing the Sousho form. They already had a Japanese name, so there was not translation involved, just verification of the correct Characters. If you are interested in an order contact http://www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com/

Monday, November 22, 2010

Scroll or Kakejiku with Enso Circle & Taoist Phrase

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

贈呈は初まりと終わり。


人格の道。

五息により幕を除去し、光空の門に導かれる。

Reading in Romanized Japanese:

Zoutei wa Hajimari to Owari.

Jinkaku no Michi.

Goiki ni Yori Maku wo Jokyo shi,

Hikari Sora no Mon ni

Michibikareru.

According to the customer, this is a Taoist phrase used in their karate dojo training. Thankfully the customer guided me to some correct words. The translation took much guidance from the customer because I was using particles that were not necessary at times and I used the word Present as in tense or now, but the word was actually to mean gift or a thing presented to someone else.

What I liked about this scroll  or Kakejiku is Yoshimi’s ability to balance everything in the writing, which included the writing of Enso in the top left corner (facing away from the scroll), the Large Enso Circle, with the signature to the right and then the writing in a Gyousho, semi-cursive style. This was more writing than we have usually put on a scroll, and the phrase underneath was written with a Hosofude, or thin brush. It is our ideal to provide what the customer wants within reason.

The Katana and Wakizashi are more appropriate for this display as the Dojo from the Great Lakes Region of the US, trains in the sword arts. He gave me a beautiful essay and write up on some of the philosophies they used, but being a laic in regards to martial arts, I honestly only understood about 65% of the essay. But what new things I did learn were very enlightening, particularly the new sword vocabulary in Japanese.
The customer chose a wine color cloth, and it is complemented the Enso circle along with a beautiful high gloss black lacquer wood jikusaki that has a gold band around the outer edge. The scroll includes a Gold Kakehimo with a white arrow pattern in it giving it a distinct look. The deep gold Ichimonji seems to help provide a good contrast between the work and the Kireji. The scroll is in the Maru Hyougu style with the following Dimensions in the traditional Japanese measurement of 分 Bun.
天  Ten                                   111
上一文字 Ue Ichimonji           12.5
紙本幅 Shihon Habasa          109
紙本長 Shihon Nagasa          210
柱 Hashira                               17
下一文字 Shita Ichimonji          9
地 Chi                                     70
掛け軸幅さ Scroll Width       143
掛け軸長さ Scroll Length      417.5
If you have interest in designing a scroll, order online at http://www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com/ or e-mail me and ask me for a free scroll design workbook at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Two Martial Arts Dojo Scrolls

琉球本拳法



沖縄白鶴拳法

This customer sent an order directly online via my shopping site at http://ww.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com/  I think these turned out beautifully for him.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

The first scroll on the left (if facing away from the scrolls) reads Ryukyu Hon Kenpo, which means the True Kenpo of the Ryukyu islands. The scroll on the right reads Okinawa Shirodzuru Kenpo. This could be translated as Okinawan White Crane Kenpo.

The scrolls are written in the Sousho or full cursive style which provides a very beautiful flowing ideal to the work. I must respect Yoshimi for being able to take one phrase that contains 5 characters and one phrase that contains 6 characters and write them very symmetrically on the same size of paper. I used a red-orange Ichimonji to provide the imagery of a sunset on the backdrop of a green Okinawan island set in the Pacific.

The katana and wakizashi may not be the most authentic accent to put in a display with scrolls conveying an Okinawan theme. A better weapon choice may have been an Eiku, Tonfa or Nunchaku, but we must make do with what we have. I thank Sylvan and Hiromi Pickett for allowing me to borrow these for this display picture.

This is the basic Maru Hyougu style and dimensions in the traditional Bun分 measurement set forth with other dimensions as approximations.
  • 天 Ten                            83
  • 上一文字 Ue Ichimonji   14
  • 紙本幅 Shihon Habasa    50
  • 紙本長 Shihon Nagasa  226
  • 柱 Hashira                       12.5
  • 下一文字 Shita Ichimonji  9
  • 地 Chi                               42
  • 掛け軸幅さ Total Scroll Width            75
  • 掛け軸長さ Total Scroll Length         377

Saturday, November 6, 2010

意気衝天 Ikishouten (High Spirits)



This scroll is for sale. Although there were quite a few problems, and still some slight "Uki" in the scroll, it turned out all right. It was written by my wife, Ryugyoku, and the inkan or chop will be applied soon.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com


The meaning of the phrase ikishouten is listed in one online dictionary as High Spirits. I think it is better to look at it as having such conviction that it feels like being lifted into Heaven.
The first thing to be aware, is this is not a true Fukuro Hyougu style scroll. A true Fukuro Hyougu scroll does not have an Ichimoji section on the scroll. I wanted to do something a little different. I think the black suji provides a subtle transition between the cloths. I hope you feel the same.










Here are the Dimensions leading with the traditional 分 Bun measurement. 筋 suji were all done in 1 bun measurements.


Ten 天           149 (98&51)
Ue Ichimonji      上一文字         8
Artwork Width     紙本の幅さ        77
Artwork Length     紙本の長さ       106
Hashira        柱            23
Shita Ichimonji     下一文字         4
Chi          地            80 (25&55)
Total Scroll Length   掛け軸長さ        347
Total Scroll Width    掛け軸幅さ        123 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

浪人Rounin & 武士道Bushidou Scrolls







These scrolls were ordered as a pair. The customer wanted larger scrolls 5' in length. So we had to use larger paper and the writing on the characters is very large.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com


For those who don't know, a Bushidou means, "Way of the Warrior" and a Rounin was a "masterless Samurai" either because of the death of the daimyou he served in battle or loss of the master's favor. See wikipedia for a more detailed explanation. Literal meaning is someone carried on the waves or a person aimlessly floating.

One thing I wanted to make clear, is that this picture was taken from a Seza position, (kneeling). This is the traditional way to view scrolls, and is the reason that the Ten is longer than the Chi, to provide balance between the artwork and the viewer. For the display, I wanted to use a katana or wakizashi, but could not find my wakizashi and did not have access to a sword. So everyone will need to settle with the fake bonsai. As a set these scrolls are very beautiful in the Navy Blue Cloth with a Green/Gold Ichimonji. Additionally, the Jikusaki are wood with black lacqer and a single band of gold around the outer edge. Gives a little distinction to contrast with the navy colored cloth. The two掛け軸 kakejiku are written in the Gyousho, Semi-cursive style by Ryugyoku.

Dimensions of the scroll in bun (1 bun is equal to about 3.03 mm) are as follows:



天     Ten (Heaven) 160



上一文字 Ue Ichimonji (Upper Brocade) 14



紙本の幅さ Honshi no Habasa (Artwork Width) 110



紙本の長さ Honshi no Nagasa (Artwork Length) 219



Hashira (Pillars) 15



下一文字 Shita Ichimonji (Lower Brocade) 9



Chi (Earth) 114



掛け軸の幅さ Kakejiku no Habasa (Scroll Width) 140



掛け軸の長さ Kakejiku no Nagasa (Scroll Length) 516

Thursday, September 30, 2010

幽蘭一国香 Yuuran Ikkoku no Kou


If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

























幽蘭一国香 (ゆうらん いっこくのこう)


Yuuran Ikkoku no Kou

The meaning of this phrase is the scent of the pollen that emanates from the famed orchid is known throughout the country. (I am still trying to locate the name of this orchid in English...)

I looked everywhere for an orchid cloth. I did have have one, but knew that the urauchi step would not work due to this cloth being a synthetic. So I turned to my reliable rose. This is actually a leftover piece from a previous scroll done for a dojo up in Washington. And although the pattern on the kireji is not an orchid, this cloth still evokes the same visual and olfactory stimulation from the meaning of the poem. This was a writing done by Yoshimi a couple of years ago. She was advanced in rank due to this submitted writing. It is done in the sousho style.


Name in Kanji Name in English Size in Bun Size in Centimeters (Estimate) Size in Inches (Estimate)
天 Ten 91 275.73 10.86
上一文字 Ue Ichimonji 19 57.57 2.27
紙本の幅さ Artwork Width 79 239.37 9.42
紙本の長さ Artwork Length 107 324.21 12.76
柱 Pillars 17 51.51 2.03
下一文字 Shita Ichimonji 9 27.27 1.07
地 Chi 62 187.86 7.40
掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 113 342.39 13.48
掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 288 872.64 34.36



This display could be used for a springtime or early summer themed display when the orchids are in bloom. The shoku for the tree is too small, but it is the only one that I own. Also, the bonsai is not real. I have a black thumb and kill every living bonsai…so I just have to go with what works for me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

修行者と宮仕え The Recluse & the Court Maid

修行者と宮仕え

しゅうぎょうしゃとみやづかえ (Shuugyousha to Miyazukae)

The Recluse and the Court Maid
If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 


This scroll’s painting was done by Ren Adams in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She helped me man my booth at a Karate tournament in Albuquerque New Mexico. This scroll is for sale. The first thing that came to my mind in developing the scroll was the solitary setting in nature. The common items of the 山侍Yama Samurai (Mountain Samurai) are very apparent in the picture, including the 着物 kimono (robe)、蓑 mino (straw hat)、刀 katana (sword). 









Name in Kanji      Name in English      Size in Bun      Size in Centimeters      Size in Inches

天                        Ten                                 53                   160.59                          6.32

上中廻し             Ue Chuumawashi     45                   136.35                          5.37

紙本の幅さ         Artwork Width        73.5                222.705                        8.77

紙本の長さ         Artwork Length       110                 333.3                           13.12

柱                        Pillars                             17                   51.51                            2.03

下中廻し             Shita Chuumawashi 24                    72.72                           2.86

地                       Chi                                   39                    118.17                         4.65

掛け軸の幅さ    Scroll Width               107.5                325.725                     12.82

掛け軸の長さ    Scroll Length              271                   821.13                       32.33


This scroll took an extraordinarily long time to make, because I had a hard time envisioning what I wanted to show in the scroll. I finally decided that this would look best in a Nidan Hyougu style (2 Step Scroll) without the Ichimonji (brocade). Originally I had attached a khaki for the Ten and the Chi, but due to problems with the cloth I had to change it to the Navy cloth. It still had some problems, with a little Uki, which made me very disappointed. I do love how the red karakusa makes the scroll pop but to me does not detract from the artwork on the Honshi.

In designing the display, I wanted to contrast two different ways of life. There is the recluse living within nature, and the court maid experiencing the opulent court life. Both must find joy in their respective difficulties. The mountain hermit suffers from exposure to harsh elements, and scarcity of food. However, being away from the distractions of society he is able to attain enlightenment and search his inner soul deeply. Does not this bring joy to the individual? The court maid on the other hand suffers from the political intrigue, hard work and shifting alliances within court politics. She has the benefits of having bounteous food, drink and apparel and is protected from outside danger and elements. Does not this also bring joy to the individual? In all castes and socialities of human kind, no one will have identical experiences. It is every individual’s responsibility to seek and learn to attain joy in whatever state that fate has been set upon us. We do not know, nor can we control our destiny, but we do have the ability to find joy in whatever state of life we may find ourselves. In the decision to choose virtue, righteousness and joy no matter one’s circumstances, we human beings are all equal.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bonsai in the Bluegrass

Some are already aware, but I have my first Kakejiku making class scheduled at Bonsai in the Bluegrass. It will be an all day class in Louisville Kentucky. Many bonsai artists know several points about the art of display. Here one can learn the technical side of scroll design and seeing the scroll from a different perspective.

The class is limited to 10 students and everyone will learn how to make their own scroll.
Lecture topics will include:
Definition of 表装 Hyousou

History of 掛け軸 Kakejiku
Concepts of Design
Japanese Measurement System (Rin厘, Bun分, Sun寸, & Shaku尺)
Making the Scroll – Many Subtopics



If you would like to schedule a workshop, lecture or demonstration for your organization, please contact to me at info@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Autumn Japanese Seasonal Phrase

This phrase is from the August issue of the Shunju Calligraphy Society's assignment workbook. The phrase is for the beginning of the Autumn season, and would be a beautiful phrase to put into a scroll.

Rough Translation is, "To hear the Falling Leaves At Your Hometown".

秋屋葉聲中
If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kakejiku for Martial Artist

忍耐 創造 Nintai Souzou Patience Creativity
If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 


This hanging scroll (掛け軸Kakejiku) was made as a gift for a martial artist. It is going as a set with a hand-made 剖検 Bouken, which is the wooden training sword used for martial arts training. The taupe cloth provides a sense of the natural world. The red ichimonji was selected to remind the practitioner of swordsmanship that the sword can draw blood. Care should be taken to use it for self-defense purposes only. The black lacquered wood jikusaki is a perfect complement to this scroll.

This scroll is written in the Gyousho style by 龍玉Ryugyoku. Some individuals have looked on keywords specifically for styles of writing. One way to tell if a piece is written in the semi-cursive style is that the character is still legible, but strokes will be connected by tapered, faint lines.

Name in Kanji Name in English Size in Bun Size in Inches

天 Ten 144 17.18

上一文字 Ue Ichimonji 10 1.19

紙本の幅さ Artwork Width 78 9.30

紙本の長さ Artwork Length 111 13.24

柱 Pillars 25 2.98

下一文字 Shita Ichimonji 6 0.72

地 Chi 88 10.50

掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 128 15.27

掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 359 42.83

Monday, August 9, 2010

Martial Art Scroll for First Name

This scroll was made for a Martial Artist from the State of Washington. This dojo has always been very supportive of my work and has ordered several scrolls. It makes me feel good when I receive multiple orders from the same customer, as it is confirmation that the customer is pleased with the end product.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

This is the translation of the first name Shaylee. In Hiragana we translated it to the phonetic spelling of しえり Shi e ri. 士 is the same character as that written in Bushido or warrior, it has the meaning of acolyte. 恵 is the character that can read e, but is often Megumi and means to be blessed. 里 is the character for Ri or Sato and is your parents hometown village. The translation we gave is the Warrior of the Blessed hometown. Both characters Megumi and Ri are commonly used in Japanese girl’s names.

The customer chose the beautiful purple rose cloth, which is now sold out. They requested a beautiful gold ichimonji for the border. To provide a strong accent, a much wider 14 bun top and 9 bun bottom was selected for the size. This is written in the Kaisho, block print style by Ryugyoku.

Scroll dimensions in bun followed by inches in parantheses:

Ten 天: 122 (14.57)

Ue Ichimonji 上一文字: 14 (1.67)

Shihon Tate 紙本縦: 107 (12.76)

Shihon Yoko 紙本横: 78 (9.30)

Shita Ichimonji下一文字 : 9 (1.07)

Chi 地: 58 (6.92)

Kakejiku no Habasa 掛け軸の幅さ: 110 (13.12)

Kakejiku no Nagasa 掛け軸の長さ: 310 (36.98)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Shihan Kaku Rank Japanese Calligraphy Seasonal Scroll

This scroll was submitted in which her writing was deemed of quality to become the Shihan Rank in her calligraphy society. This scroll is not for sale. This is written in a mixed style called Gyousou which utilizes both Semi and Full-cursive styles.

This phrase is a stanza of a longer poem, and reads as follows.
照渓苦芳樹紅雲合迎客幽禽翠雨軽し
渓を照らす芳樹紅雲合し 客を迎える幽禽翠雨軽し 
けいをてらすほうじゅこううんがっし きゃくをむかえるゆうきんすいうかるし
Kei wo Terasu Houjukouungasshi Kyaku wo Mukaeru Yuukinsuiukarushi

The meaning of this phrase as follows:

In the valley, the fragrance of the orchards wafts in the air, and crimson clouds gather. During the light rainfall, the beautiful birds come resting on the new green branches, which have awaited the return of their nimble visitors.

This was written in March preparatory to submission for the test submission in April. This evokes images of springtime in Japan. It would be a wonderful scroll to use for a bonsai display that utilizes an early springtime theme. The scroll is very long, about 10 feet in length, and my wife's first comment was that the Ten was too long. However, because a kakejiku is traditionally viewed from a seza kneeling position, I wanted to create a scroll that would be balanced and focus on the writing, following a more traditional design format.

I am very appreciative of the time and effort my wife expends on perfecting her writing. This scroll is my gift to her. I let her choose every aspect of the kireji, jikusaki, and kake/makihimo. The cloth has a green leaf pattern which is used for the viewer to have the image of the birds resting on the green branches. I had a red jikusaki to symbolize the crimson clouds, but Yoshimi opted for the black with gold band, which is a new addition to the inventory. The kakehimo is a white with Blue/Green speckle and was used to set it apart from the Shirocha (gold) that I normally use. This scroll took over three months start to finish, but has given me a great satisfaction upon completion.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eiwa Haiku Wallscroll英和俳句掛け軸

This customer wanted a kakejiku 掛け軸that would take a haiku俳句 created in English and translated into Japanese. To get the proper translation it was difficult to follow the 5-7-5 On criteria. However, to capture the true meaning of the poem, we felt it was important to utilize a rule called jiamari 字余りto provide for accurate meaning of the poem.


The shodou is written in three lines, which contradicts Wikipedia’s statement that haiku are written in a single line. Ryugyoku used creative license to indent the first character of each line to emphasize each individual line in the poem. It was written in the Gyousho style with the smaller brush called Hosofude. The poem reads:





真の愛は特別 Makoto no Ai wa Tokubetsu

時に降りきり Toki ni Orikiri

人生を変える Jinsei wo Kaeru

(Because this scroll is a gift we will not post the English translation until a later time.)
The scroll is made with a taupe cloth in the Maru Hyougu 丸表具style. I used the gold clouds on red-orange to correlate the above haiku with another Japanese expression. 女心は秋の空 Onnagokoro wa Aki no Sora. This phrase means a woman’s mind changes as quickly as the Autumn sky (at sunset).This captures the essence of the fleeting nature of love. The scroll is accented with a beautiful Black lacquer Jikusaki with a gold band painted around the end. The customer also ordered a beautiful Fuchin that complements the Kireji color of the wallscroll.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Season Shodou Phrase

清風動脩竹


Sei Fuu Dou Shuu Chiku

The moving bamboo rustles by the blowing of the refreshing wind.

This is a phrase for the beginning of the summer season. Our feelings become invigorated when we visualize this type of refreshing landscape.

Shuuchiku means a bamboo that has grown long. Master Takuan said that this phrase is continued to then be written in reverse order as 脩竹動清風. The question of this phrase is whether the bamboo is moved by the wind, or is the bamboo moving making the wind. The separation of the cause and effect cannot be ascertained with the natural eye, but is only revealed to us through the profound diversity of the natural world. When the wind picks up enough to cause the greenery to rustle, this is called Seiseishii wind. As this type of wind blows the same feelings are tightened up within the self and cause an inner rustling like the bamboo. Furthermore, this makes one face former feelings.

Translated by Jonathan Maples from Page 326 of the Zengo Kichigo Jiten published by the Japanese Calligraphy Society.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yin Yang Abstract--Unbalanced Nature

This 掛け軸 kakejiku  is a reflection of my feeling in life right now. The Yin Yang is seen as a symbol of opposites providing balance by integrating the differing ideas and feelings.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

The artist who drew this for me was able to take the idea and express it in the brushwork. For example, the characters are outfacing each other because if switched to face inwards, the two objects would repel and push away from each other. The opposing forces do not fit congruently. Additionally, one is drawn superior and one inferior. At all times one of the forces in nature is dominant.

The blue cloth is accented with swirling patterns to represent the dizzying relationships we must endure and can be tiring if looked or dealt with for long periods of time. The red Ichimonji provides a sense of ire, or anger at the world that is bottled up inside.

The scroll is 2.18 feet in length and very wide at 1.59 feet when compared to the length. This scroll is completed in the Maru Hyougu style and more detailed dimensions are listed below.

This scroll is for sale. For pricing inquiries please contact sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

掛け軸一つ目: Yin Yang Abstract


作成日Framing Complete Date: July 20, 2010

表具Scroll Style: 丸表具Maru Hyougu

寸法 Dimensions:  天 84分

上一文字 11分

紙本長さ 64分

紙本幅さ 98分

下一文字 8分

地 52分

柱 31分(同様)

掛け物の長さ219分

掛け物の幅さ160分

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sumi-e Bamboo

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com                                                                  This scroll was made from a bamboo sumi-e painting that was made over 10 years ago. It was drawn by Yoshimi Maples. This is done in the Maru hyougu style, but you will notice that the cloth used as the brocade borders the entire work. There is a 1 bun gold border between the Hashira and the Shihon.

The cloth color chosen is a khaki color. This is a very traditional cloth selection for a Japanese scroll. You may be asking yourself, why I have tried to imitate a Japanese style design for the scroll. It is because many American bonsai artists have complained about the following on my works.

A. The Shihon is too new and white

B. My cloth selections would not be appropriate for a formal Keido style Toko no Ma display.

Sometimes one does something to prove a point. That is this case. I have created a scroll to prove that I can make a Kakejiku in the traditional style. Usually I make pieces for my own joy, but in this case I am trying to satisfy other individual’s desires for what they want in a scroll. In a similar situation with the Martial Art's market, I did not get many sales until I started adopting traditional phrases such as the seven virtues of the Bushido, peace or harmony etc. I hope that the people will recognize that I am flexible enough to create a wallscroll that will fit their individual needs.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Name in Katakana

This customer requested a first name in Katakana...I do not know why it needed to be handwritten, because you could almost get the same effect by typing the name on the computer. But this is just a testament to me of how skilled my wife is at her calligraphy....

You will notice that the work has not Urauchi backing and there may be slight wrinkling in the future.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

円相 Enso Circle of Emptiness Kakejiku or Wallscroll

The Ensou Circle or Enso is the ideal of emptiness in Zen Buddhism. Meditation exercises are a common discipline used to train acolyte priests to reach this state of emptiness.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

How does one empty the mind to not be worried with outside worldly trappings? Can inward solace be achieved in this fast paced, critical world?

One reason that I decided to start this business was because making the scrolls to gain this peace. Framing the artwork takes time, concentration and creativity when working on the design. I hope that those same feelings and emotions are conveyed to the viewer of the artwork.

There are some that have told me that the Enso circle should start at the top. I do not know the technical reasons, nor do I know if this is actually a true or factual statement. I have seen many different artists begin the brushstroke at different areas. Some begin at the top and some at the bottom. Regardless, it takes a significant amount of practice and discipline to develop the skill necessary to draw a beautiful circle. Ryugyoku has shown that skill.

I chose the white cloth to give a light mood to a sometimes somber artwork. It is not the case for all people, but often when I reflect internally, the mood can be somewhat subdued for me. So I wanted a white cloth to help make the scroll more bright and cheery. The leaf pattern in the cloth provides me with a sense of being in nature.

This scroll is for sale at $55.00 plus $15.00 for shipping, handling and taxes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ichii Senshin Kakejiku or Wall Scroll 意専心掛け軸, 又表具

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

Ichii Senshin


一意専心

This character phrase means "concentrating with a single heart by utilizing one's will". This is a phrase for martial arts which reminds that concentration and a single will are required to accomplish individual goals and desires.

This has been true for me in my personal struggle as a business owner, trying to get people to see the vision of my works and to spread my vision of the world both wide and far. It takes tenacity and drive to get others to believe in your vision. It also requires one to possess both patience and wisdom to see a project to the end. That is why I continue to work on scroll making every day. Every problem that is encountered provides me with new insight on how to fix a problem or repair it to improve the process on future works. Dedication of the heart requires both concentration and a will to see the journey until the final step.

I wanted to make this scroll with the dragon scale cloth. When I think of the word dragon the first word that comes to mind is tenacity, and embodied all of the principles of Ichii Senshin. This is written in a Gyousho style by Ryugyoku.

This handmade scroll comes with a certificate of authenticity and is for sale at $75.00 inclusive of all taxes and shipping in the US. If you would like a different scroll made to specification please contact sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com. I follow traditional methods and techniques that I learned from my Sensei in Japan to make each scroll as individual as you are.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A word on Computer Generated Japanese to English Name Translators

There are many sites that offer computer generated translation of names into Japanese or Chinese characters. What happens is it spits out characters that will phonetically match the desired name. Custom Japanese Calligraphy believes it takes more thought and care for the translation of a name.

For example, recently we had an order for the name Jacob.
The automatic site translator gave the following. Ji ei ko bu
治頴功武Rule Intelligent Success Warrior

You are an intelligent warrior whose mighty rule brings success to all his people.

This is a fine translation if you are a martial artist or polititian, but this was for a less than 1 year old baby. As a result, we decided to use the bible phonetic spelling of Jacob, which is Yakobu. This gave us characters more suited to the sitution.
Yakobu-家鼓舞
We translated it to mean This House will be Inspired (Because of this Child)

You can choose for yourself, but we feel that our human service, which is a little slower will be much more authentic and match your interests and personality. You can go directly to our shop site for name translation services at http://www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com/product.sc?productId=54&categoryId=20

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Competition

There are competitors that use tricky tactics to maintain their top page rankings in Google...For example, I know at least three sites that use Custom Japanese Calligraphy Scroll in their keyword phrases. I find that funny...Is a single person such a threat, that they feel they need to use another's company name in their keywords?

I am proud of my work and will gladly explain the differences of scrolls. In fact one competitor in particular says they create Custom Japanese Scrolls. Yet they utilize a clearly Chinese Hanging String and it is hung with the makihimo on the outside of the scroll. This is never the way a Japanese scroll is hung.

There are many excellent calligraphers in the US, but my wife submits on a monthly basis her works to a Japanese Calligraphy Society. We let the old garde in Japan judge her works, and they have found her writing sufficient to be warranted as a Shihan Kaku. A variety of styles are practiced every day, Kaisho, Sousho and Gyousho as well as kana, which is a style native only to Japan.

Now, I am not Japanese, but when making a scroll by hand I try with every intention to follow my Sensei's pattern and spirit to the tee, and create something beautiful. If you have questions, or would like to download a booklet on how to design your own scroll please e-mail to me at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

But me talking is like

Monday, June 7, 2010

翌檜会 Asunarokai Scroll

This scroll was ordered from Greece. Asunaro is an idiomatic expression in Japanese which means, "Tomorrow, let's become Cypress Trees". Kai is a group, organization or meeting. Cypress tree wood is valued tremendously.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 
This scroll was made for an Iaido (Katana) school in Greece, but it would also work for a Bonsai club as well. The deep green of the kireji very much brings about the forest feel in standing under the trees you see in Japan. The red ichimonji just seems to make the scroll be very beautiful and large and accentuates the beauty of the Kaisho, block print style written by Ryugyoku.

If you would like to design your own personalized scroll, contact sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gift Wall Scroll or Kakejiku

This scroll was commissioned as a gift.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

It reads 詩宗 Shisou with the name David St. John, as the names appear in the Japanese Bible written in katakana on the left hand column.  Shisou  means master poet. This is a gift for a prominently published modern poet, David St. John. You can read about him at the following link. http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/149 The third left hand line bears my wife's calligraphy signature name Ryugyoku and her Hanko.

What stands out most about this scoll, is the use of black cloth. Athough not common, it is not unheard of. The ichimonji selected has a very large karakusa pattern, and is a gold on creamy white. I make this extra large for several reasons, but primarily to give good spacing between the Honshi and the Kireji.

I not only enjoyed making this scroll, but got introduced to some good poetry in the process, which is always educational and inspires me to become better.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Art of War Is The Art of Peace Scroll

This scroll was designed by a person interested in the Martial Art called Tenshin Shouden Katori Shintou Ryuu. (天真正 伝香取神道流). This martial art is one of the oldest extant Japanese bujutsu systems, and was founded by Iizasa Chouisai Ienao 飯篠 長威斉 家直who was born in the Chiba prefecture area of Japan in 1387 A.D. This style of Martial Art is historically recognized as being founded in 1480 A.D.

The story of the transmittal of this martial art was from the deity of the Katori Shrine in Sawara, Japan. It is said that after 1,000 days of continuous daily and nightly practice, the deity of the Katori Shrine Futsunushi no Mikoto (経津主之命) visited Iizasa in a dream and transmitted to him this martial art strategy in a scroll called the Muroku Heihou no Shinsho.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com
This particular martial art has been designated as an “Intangible Cultural Asset” from the Japanese government.

One of the main tenets of this martial art is the screening of new students that requires those who wish to enter to take a 血判 Keppan or blood oath. The oath states:

On becoming a member of the Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū which has been transmitted by the Great Deity of the Katori Shrine, I herewith affirm my pledge that:

1. I will not have the impertinence to discuss or demonstrate details of the ryū to either non-members or members, even if they are relatives;

2. I will not engage in altercations or misuse the art against others;

3. I will never engage in any kind of gambling nor frequent disreputable places.

4. I will not cross swords with any followers of other martial traditions without authorization.

I hereby pledge to firmly adhere to each of the above articles. Should I break any of these articles I will submit to the punishment of the Great Deity of Katori and the Great Deity Marishiten. Herewith I solemnly swear and affix my blood seal to this oath to these Great Deities.

To learn more about this martial art please go to this link for the Wikipedia site.

The scroll is a saying of Iizasa Soke, which reads Heihou Ha Heihou Nari. In English this means, “The Art of War is the Art of Peace”. Art could also be written as Way, and alternatively means, “The Way of War, is the Way of Peace”.

This beautiful phrase is written in a semi-cursive style called Gyousho by Ryugyoku. The chuumawashi is a green silk with a taupe Ten and Chi. The scroll was made in the Sandan Hyougu (Three Step) style. The Red Ichimonji was used to symbolize the Keppan or blood oath. In this case the brocade not only borders the top and bottom of the work, but also there is 2 分 bun border on the right and left hand sides of the 紙本 Shihon or artwork. Obedience to the Keppan are all encompassing in the life of the Katori Shintou Ryuu practitioner hence, it encompasses the entire work. The scroll is completed with a beautiful wood jikusaki that is lacquered red.

Making this scroll was both a challenge and very inspirational in being diligent to the end.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Joufuku Size Dojo Scrolls!

I don't think I even have to explain these pics....Customer's words..."Thank you! They are awesome!"
I have to say THANK YOU RYUGYOKU AND REN for your beautiful work.


If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book to Make Kakejiku or Wallscrolls by Hand

You asked for it and now you can get it. Have you ever wondered how they create the beautiful wallscrolls called kakejiku with cloth and paper in Japan.  Here is your chance to learn. This newly published book shows the entire process of how to make your very own custom kakejiku. With pictures, graphs and simple to read text instructions, you too can learn how to make these scrolls by hand using tradtional Japanese techniques.

You can frame art prints, photographs, Japanese calligraphy or sumie into these scrolls. Providing beautiful decor for the home or office.

This book was a labor of love and took many months to prepare, edit and get ready for publication. The book is now available online. Book ISBN number is 978-1-4500-6755-3. Go to http://www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com/ to order online. You may also e-mail directly to me at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com to obtain additional information.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fukuro Hyougu Scroll as Gift

This beautiful scroll was ordered from Canada as a graduation gift. The first thing one recognizes looking at the picture is there is no brocade, or ichimonji cloth bordering the artwork.

This is because it is a Fukuro Hyougu style scroll. This is the primary difference between the Maru Hyougu kakemono. Because this scroll utilized a light Khaki colored cloth, I inserted Suji onto the scroll. The three black lines are all 0.5 Bun in diameter. It is also capped with beautifully black lacquered wood jikusaki which really harmonizes the colors of the suji.

As mentioned above, this scroll is for an individual who graduated in Social Work/Counseling. We did not know where this will hang in a future office, but the neutral colors along with the good contrast of colors will allow it to hang almost anywhere.

The writing was done by my Shihan Calligrapher wife, Ryugyoku in the Kaisho style. The customer asked for balance and courage as the words for the scroll. These words are read as 平衡 Heikou and 勇気 Yuuki.

It is a strong reminder for future counseling recipients to have balance and courage to overcome their afflictions.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dojo Karate Scroll

This custom piece was ordered from the Ozawa Cup tournament. It is a beautiful Hanshi scroll written in Kaisho style. The words beginning from the top right to bottom right and then top left to bottom left is Spirit 霊、Peace 和、and Discipline 鍛錬. The thing that I liked most about the scroll, is that although the hashira were quite narrow, about 10 bun, it seemed to bring out the bold strong strokes of the Calligraphy.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dojo Scrolls Calligraphy 3 of 3

Late in entering this, but this is the third scroll in the series. Okay, I am sorry, but I feel that the translation is personal for this dojo, so if you can read Japanese great, you will know what is written if not...please become a member of this dojo to find out.

I really enjoyed working on this project. Although I am sure the customer is disappointed in the time frame it took to complete. It was necessary to be very thorough in the process to make the scrolls per the customers specifications.

I hope you enjoyed this series.

Look for more posts next week.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

2 of 3 Dragon Scroll

This is a scroll for a dojo in the US. They are using the writing as a meditative practice for practitioners to contemplate what they have learned and put them in a higher plane of thinking. The dragon was drawn once again by my talented artist that I rely on, Ren Adams.This is written in a gyousho style, and if you compare the Panther with this one, there should be some obvious similarities.


This is in the Maru Hyougu style and is on a taupe cloth. The decision on the cloth was very difficult. Some swatches of different fabrics was sent so they could not only compare it to the wall onto which it would hang, but also how the cloth would look with the entire design was necessary. This was a very difficult and complicated project, but was very satisfying.

1 of 3 Joufuku Scrolls (Panther)

This is a scroll for a dojo in the US. They are using the writing as a meditative practice for practitioners to contemplate what they have learned and put them in a higher plane of thinking. The artwork of the panther was difficult to do as traditionally, Japanese and Chinese brush painting does not have a history of using panthers as subject material. Thankfully, one of the wonderfully talented artists I rely on, Ren Adams, used Tiger's, which is a common theme in Sumi-e. You can see how beautifully she transitioned subject material. I will also say how beautifully well done the writing is on the scroll in a gyousho style, because it was done by my wife, Ryugyoku.
This is in the Maru Hyougu style and is on a taupe cloth. The decision on the cloth was very difficult. Some swatches of different fabrics was sent so they could not only compare it to the wall onto which it would hang, but also how the cloth would look with the entire design was necessary. This was a very difficult and complicated project, but was very satisfying.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Toko no Ma display titled Toryuumon

I post this picture with written permission of Mr. Hilvers, Curator of the Bonsai Collection at the Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture. I would also like to thank the Clark Center for hosting me this weekend. This was my display that I was able to do with the help of the Southern Utah Bonsai Club and Mr. Jim Greaves, who graciously provided the beautiful suiseki.

You can also see some display critiques from a Japanese Sensei at the following links.
Before you bonsai artists get too overworked about how many rules I didn't follow in the Keidou school of display (which I have not studied and have no experience with), read the whole article and then make a judgement. The point of my display was to harmonize the three pieces and to have each piece represent something. But before you can read what the symbols mean you need to know the phrase meaning of Touryuumon (登龍門).

Meaning:
The first character 登read as Tou is also the verb noboru which means to climb or reach


The second character 龍 is read as Ryuu and means dragon

The third character 門 is read as Mon or kado and means gate

人生の関門 人生のかんもん(Jinsei no Kanmon) Life Barriers

There is no doubt that the phrase Touryuumon is the name of the difficult barrier that must be broken through or overcome in order to see success. More deeply, this phrase comes from the legend that fish, specifically 鯉 Koi, that can swim upstream past the waterfall called “三段の滝Sandan no Taki or Third Step” which is located on the middle section of the Yellow River in China will become a dragon, and this waterfall area is called the Touryuumon. It is this idea that one must overcome the worst of difficulties, in order to move on to a greater difficulty. Success and growth is only then accomplished.
All human beings are faced with trials in life. However, in order to confront the greatest afflictions one must first have striven to overcome smaller obstacles, much like the fish faces on first swimming up the Yellow River, and then overcoming the waterfall. Only then will the fish become a dragon. Likewise, one will see great growth only after taking on the tasks of the first challenges.

Additionally, no matter how diligently one strives to overcome the trial and become the best, there are times when these barriers just cannot be overcome. However, the effort expended was surely not a waste for the individual. Those mistakes will spring back in the form of success and pride at some time in the future. It can be said that a smooth life will not bring about success. Therefore, this phrase provides all interesting hope for personal struggles.

Excerpt translated by Jonathan Maples from page 640 of the Zengo Kichigo Jiten (禅語吉語字典) published by the Japanese Calligraphy Society (日本書道協会 〒151-0053 東京都渋谷区代々木1-11-1).

Symbols:
The Suiseki, American Viewing Stone Resource Center:


The suiseki chosen symbolizes the carp/Koi. The Koi is in a very neutral vertical position with the head down, and an eye to the left, with the typical wide-open mouth. While some of the form is ambiguous, with the body perhaps curving and hidden by grass, it actually is positive for the overall display design. The image recalls endless similar images found in Japanese paintings. The stone is graywacke, but the image carries well from a distance. The position of the rock presents the Koi in calmer waters, eyeing the falls and circling to gain courage before the ascent.
Dimensions Approx. 10" H x 4" W as displayed

The Bonsai, Southern Utah Bonsai Club:

The cascading shape of the bonsai represents the 三段の滝 Sandan no Taki or Three Step waterfall in the middle section of the Yellow River in China. The fish must climb up the cascade to reach the apex. This tree is a Procumbens nana or Japanese Garden Juniper. The apex is 15” from the base of the pot or 12” from the base of the tree.

The Scroll, Custom Japanese Calligraphy:

Like the Sandan no Taki, the scroll will be made in a three step style called 三段表具Sandan Hyougu. This reinforces both the number of characters in the writing, references back to the name of the waterfall, and completes the three pieces within the three point display. This piece in the display will symbolize the transformation of the 鯉Koi into a 龍Ryuu Dragon. The Blue in the Ichimonji is used to provide a very strong transition between the cloth and 本紙 Honshi. The red cloth is used to stir up the visualization of the koi transforming into a dragon and adding the red color to the scales. The white of the Chi is representative of the mists of foam and water churning in the river’s waterfall. Lastly, the white of the Ten should suggest to the viewer the ascent of the dragon into the clouds. Transformation is now complete. As an interesting side note, Touryuumon was written by my wife who is a 師範 Shihan rank 書家Shoka calligrapher, whose calligraphy name assigned to her by her Sensei is 龍玉 Ryuugyoku. Ryuugyoku means Dragon Egg. Scroll dimensions given in the traditional Japanese 分 Bun unit of measure which is roughly equal to 3.03 mm (Graph not Available on this blog). The total scroll length is 4 feet 5 inches and the width is 15 inches.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

登龍門Touryuumon

This is the phrase I chose as the theme for my 床の間 Toko no Ma display, which will be exhibited at the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture. This museum is located in Hanford, California.

This is going to be a beautiful display. There is a story behind the phrase Touryuumon, and will explain it at a later date. Just be aware that the scroll is done in a Sandan hyougu (Three Step) style. It is hard to see in this picture but the Chuumawashi cloth looks like red with tinted dragon scales. The white in the chi represents the mists on the water and the white in the ten represents the sky to which the dragon will ascend....

More coming after the competition.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Joufuku Scroll in House

Customer Response...These types of things just make my day! :)


I just got home from Vancouver and your box was waiting for me. It's fantastic! Perfect, even!!

I have included 2 images of it in its final location; you can see how nicely it harmonizes with everything. One view is from my hall and the other from my office desk chair (so I can look over at it and be inspired)
(If you wish to use these photos on your site, be my guest)

There are some who think that a kakejiku only belongs in a traditional Japanese Alcove called Toko No Ma...But you can see from the pictures below just how beautifully this art can accent a Western Style home...

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dragon Aikidou Scroll in Yatsugiri Size

This scroll was made for fun...it is available for sale. Maybe the dragon never needs to use force. I will be at a karate tournament in New Mexico.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

Monday, March 15, 2010

Aikido Wall Scroll with Picture of Morihei Ueshiba

Customers ask me to do new things which challenge the norm. This customer asked for an Aikidou scroll to which he could attach a picture of Osensei, of Aikidou, Morihei Ueshiba. This is not a traditional presentation of a kakemono, but it is still beautiful, and hope it provides the desired end result. This scroll is about 3.5 feet in length and 1 foot wide. The picture is a 4" x 6" print.

The Aikidou is written by hand by Ryugyoku. The inkan still needs to be affixed.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Have Burning Questions Wall Scroll in Sousho

This scroll is our translation of a quote purported by the customer to originate from David Attenbourough, a famous naturalist and biologist of British television. This customer asked us to translate, “I Have Burning Questions” into Japanese. To accurately convey the message of this phrase my wife requested clarification on what type of questions were being talked about? I said something to the effect of the mysteries of the universe, and things we do not know yet.


As a result, we translated the work to read 我心要問在, which is written in all characters which is a traditional method of presenting Japanese calligraphy. The customer requested this in Sousho, or grass style writing. The size of the characters and the spacing in relation to the scroll were well planned out and written by Ryugyoku.

In order to make a good transition between the cloth and the writing, I chose an ichimonji (brocade) with a more open, less busy pattern, and used a lighter color than the cloth, but not a true white, so that it cascades from Darker Cloth, lighter ichimonji to white scroll. The effect is very basic and typical of many traditional Japanese Maru Hyougu style scrolls.

This customer really has an eye for the end look of the scroll, in that in companionship to the beautiful wood lacquered jikusaki, they also ordered a black kakehimo and makihimo to complement the scroll. And pursuing the previous mentioned pattern from top to bottom goes darkest black kakehimo, dark tan cloth lighter ichimonji, white scroll, lighter ichimoji, dark tan cloth, darkest black jikusaki.

It is a very labor intensive process to make a scroll this large, but the end results are very satisfying.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at www.shop.customjapanesecalligraphy.com 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at www.customjapanesecalligraphy.com to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at sales@customjapanesecalligraphy.com