Thursday, September 29, 2011

Silk Sumie Remount Scroll

This has been one of the worst weeks I have had working on Kakejiku. Fortunately, the best came at the end of the week. I had a customer send me this scroll to be remounted. There was Yogore, staining on the Ten of the cloth and the Jikubou, was almost completely ripped from the Jikubukuro.

We consulted and he asked me what cloth I would select to put into the scroll. I selected the cloud motif because there were no clouds in the painting that would be redundant, and the slate/grey color helped to bring out the skillfully drawn dark and light contrasts in the picture. I also retained the basic Fukuro Hyougu styling. Also, the most interesting thing about this scroll was the Jikusaki, which seemed to have a purple lacquer which I have never seen before.

I retained and used the original Hassou and Jikubou, so I had to be very careful to maintain consistent measurements. I took extra time in working on the mimiori of this scroll. I hope you enjoy seeing this scroll, because it is going back to the customer's house.

Dimensions Below:
 Name in Kanji Name in English Size in Bun Size in Millimeters Size in Inches

天 Ten 117 354.51 13.96

絹本の幅さ Artwork Width 88 266.64 10.50
絹本の長さ Artwork Length 247 748.41 29.46

柱 Pillars 18 54.54 2.15

地 Chi 77 233.31 9.19

掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 124 375.72 14.79

掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 441 1336.23 52.61

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Small Scroll

This Miniscroll was made with leftover material from larger scrolls. It is about 11.5 inches long and 2.6 inches wide. With a wood dowel at the bottom, but no jikusaki.

This simple character for happiness or Joy is written in the Kaisho style, it is in a thress step style.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kana Calligraphy Scroll

This kakejiku is a sample of the Kana Calligraphy Style. It is framed with a darker gold Karakusa Ichimonji with a Red Kireji. This calligraphy style was developed in and is native to Japan. It is usually written on a special type of paper called Ganpi, which is thin and very complex to frame because it easily tear and rips when wet.

Often times the offset of the lines is done to emphasize certain words in the passage or to convey breaks in poetry. This sample was written by Ryugyoku for a monthly submitted work to her calligraphy society.

For this scroll I used a smaller jikubou, about 6 bun in size and did not insert jikusaki onto the scroll. The Kakehimo is the Takuboku design.

Dimensions of the scroll as follows:
Name in Kanji Name in English Size in Bun Size in Millimeters Size in Inches

天 Ten 93 281.79 11.09

上一文字 Ue Ichimonji 7 21.21 0.84

紙本の幅さ Artwork Width 72 218.16 8.59

紙本の長さ Artwork Length 106 321.18 12.64

柱 Pillars 20 60.6 2.39

下一文字 Shita Ichimonji 4 12.12 0.48

地 Chi 44 133.32 5.25

掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 112 339.36 13.36

掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 254 769.62 30.30

Saturday, September 17, 2011

August 2011 書道 Shodou Submissions Results

These are the results of various students studying under Yoshimi Maples. I think August was a very good month for the results of the students.

Student A- Kaisho Rank Nikyu placed 31st out of 54 submissions
Student A
31st out of 50+ Students
5th out of 40+ Students
Rank Advanced to 1st  Kyuu. Congratulations
Student B
16 out of  30 Students
Not Applicable

Student C
2 out of 21 Students
Not Applicable
Picture was placed in the Booklet & Rank Advancement to 7th Kyuu Congratulations

If you have questions about becoming a Japanese Calligraphy student with Yoshimi Maples, please email to

Friday, September 16, 2011

昨夜一声の雁 Sakuya Issei no Kari

This is the last scroll made for this Autumn themed phrase/poem. It is written by Yoshimi Yamada Maples. The picture was drawn by a third party....
Yes, it is probably better to just have the calligraphy, but most Americans like the visual.
The Purple cloth could possibly go well with a Susuki or Japanese Maple. I just wonder if the color of the scroll would interfere with the colors of the plants.

Full meaning of the poem is below:
Excerpt translated from pg. 330 of the Zengo Kichigo Jiten 禅語吉語字典 published by the Japan Calligraphy Society 日本書道協会.


Sakuya Issei no Kari (Last night I Heard the Wild Goose Honking)

Subtitle: There Were Small Predictors of Change

The seasons change a little at a time. But because of the nature of these small changes we are not aware of the transition, until the new season is upon us. This is similar to what happens in our personal lives.

After this verse there is an extended line in the poetry which reads, 「清風万里秋」Seifuu Banri Aki. This means that after you wake up in the morning after hearing the goose honking to begin the migration you feel the crisp autumn wind on your face and are reminded that fall has arrived.

As autumn approaches the wild geese gather into flocks and begin to fly South. That honking is an indicator communicating to our hearts the fall season. The Issei in the verse is expounded to teach us that it only takes one goose to sound the honk to gather the birds into a flock. They gather quickly in the evening, begin the migration, and by the morning all that remains of their presence are the crisp autumn winds in your face.

Another deeper meaning of this verse is that through one act alone all things can begin to move. It reminds us that through the honking of only one goose, we can feel the effects of the fall wind. It is this one act that reminds us that the season, predicted to transform is actually already surrounding us in its entirety and only now have we become aware.


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

天 Ten 115 348.45 13.72

上一文字 Ue Ichimonji 11 33.33 1.31

紙本の幅さ Artwork Width 69 209.07 8.23

紙本の長さ Artwork Length 107.5 325.725 12.82

柱 Pillars 20.5 62.115 2.45

下一文字 Shita Ichimonji 6 18.18 0.72

地 Chi 80 242.4 9.54

掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 110 333.3 13.12

掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 319.5 968.085 38.11

Thursday, September 15, 2011

古流盆栽教室 Ancient Bonsai Studio Wallscroll

This kakejiku or wallscroll was a custom order from the Bonsai in the Bluegrass convention and is already sold. It reads phonetically in Japanese as Koryuu Bonsai Kyoushitsu. There were two challenges in getting this translation accurate. The first was the word ancient. I knew one word for this and it was 古代 Kodai. But had we used this word the context would have meant in a historical, and not artistic sense. My wife had a more colloquial suggestion in using Ryuu. Ryuu is a designation of a school, sect, philosophy, or methodology for an art. A conversation may go as follows:
Nakano San: 空手をします。Karate wo shimasu. (I do Karate)
Tanaka San: どんな流派ですか。 Don na ryuuha desuka? (Which style do you study?)
Nakano San: 松涛館です。Shoutoukan desu. (The shoutoukan style.)

In other words Yoshimi’s translation has individualized the scroll to not only be the name of the company or school, but could also become his own bonsai school of philosophy in the future depending on use of the term.

The second dilemma was the word studio. There could have been many translations such as kou for a more formal school, but I opted to go with the word used by my Sensei for his scroll classroom which is Kyoushitsu and would literally be translated as teaching room, but is the word studio in most online dictionaries.
The writing is done in a Gyousho, semi-cursive style. The scroll cloths consist of a light Ichimonji that has flowing gold & silver lines which reminded me of the delicately styled bonsai branches. The brown cloth, although not as dark as the décor of his studio, will hopefully be a good transition color between the lighter color wall and the darker floor. (Only after hanging the scroll in the room will we be sure if this was correct or not.) The cloth does have a lotus flower design, a common Buddhist symbol, and it is capped at the top with a 金茶 Kincha or Dark Gold hanging string and the軸先 Jikusaki  (end pieces at the bottom) are a beautiful but simple wood laquer 軸木黒塗り.   
Scroll dimensions are as follows:
Name in Kanji
Name in English
Size in Bun
Size in Millimeters
Size in Inches
Ue Ichimonji
Artwork Width
Artwork Length
Shita Ichimonji
Scroll Width
Scroll Length

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

亀鶴 Kikaku Longevity & Long Life

This wallscroll or kakejiku is no longer available for sale. For pricing or to buy a custom scroll please contact to or call 801-785-0919.

This handmade Kakejiku is done in the Maru Hyougu style written in Kaisho by Ryugyoku. (Yoshimi Yamada Maples) Meaning of the scroll is explained below.

This phrase in Japanese reads 亀鶴 Kikaku. The first character is 亀Kame or turtle, and one can see that the character written on the scroll is different than the character written here. The typed kanji above is the new character for turtle. The second character, 鶴Tsuru, means a crane. This phrase is normally written in reverse with the Tsuru first and the Kame second, and t
he simple meaning is Longevity. The crane symbolizes a 1,000 years and the Turtle 10,000 years. The following is my translation of page 712 of the Zengo Kichigo Jiten.

As we age individually as humans we gradually become less self aware. Unfortunately, we will all grow older, and no matter how we try, we cannot prevent this from happening. If this is the way things are, there is a way to age well and continue to maintain a stout heart throughout life. As we look out over our surroundings, we can see many bright, wonderful elderly around us. That method is esteemed, and learning from that example all can learn to age gracefully.

The Hakurakuten song has the phrase 「松柏と亀鶴と其の寿は皆の千年」Shouhaku to Kikaku to, Sono Ju wa Minna no Sennen. This means through one year to live long and abundantly like the deep green pines, deciduous trees, turtle and crane. The phrase 「亀鶴の寿」Kikaku no Ju are also the words to celebrate a long life. Furthermore, the long word「亀齢鶴算白頭翁」Kireikakusannhakutouou means to live long like the turtle and the crane by ones head displaying white is a genuine saying for longevity.

In any case, living a long life is a reason of celebration in of itself. Year by year all should feel the blessing and enjoy life.

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

天 Ten 112 339.36 13.36

上一文字 Ue Ichimonji 10 30.3 1.19

紙本の幅さ Artwork Width 77 233.31 9.19

紙本の長さ Artwork Length 108 327.24 12.88

柱 Pillars 9 27.27 1.07

下一文字 Shita Ichimonji 7 21.21 0.84

地 Chi 58 175.74 6.92

掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 95 287.85 11.33

掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 295 893.85 35.19