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 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at 

1 comment:

Ren said...

Beautiful work!