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.
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 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

No comments: