Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kunshi no Ken Martial Arts Kakejiku

This scroll was sold to a return customer from Europe. If you would like to have a custom scroll made for you contact to

I love this phrase. It reads 君子の拳 Kunshi no Ken or the law of a virtuous man. It is written by Yoshimi Yamada Maples (Ryugyoku) in the Semi-cursive (Gyousho) style. The scrolls is completed in a sea green kireji donsu with karakusa. The jikusaki is Shitan or Rosewood and the kakehimo is Kinka, light green with a gold pattern.
Dimensions as follows:
Name in Kanji Name in English Size in Bun Size in Inches
Ten 118 14.08
上一文字 Ue Ichimonji 7 0.84
紙本の幅さ Artwork Width 78 9.30
紙本の長さ Artwork Length 106 12.64
Pillars 20 2.39
下一文字 Shita Ichimonji 5 0.60
Chi 75 8.95
掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 118 14.08
掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 311 37.10

Monday, September 10, 2012

Enso Scroll for Zen Practitioner

This scroll is completed in the Fukuro Hyougu style. It was ordered by a Zen practitioner in Canada. The fukuro hyougu style is an informal (Sou) style of scroll. It is characterized by the use of suji, thin strips of cloth that can go either horizontally or vertically onto the scroll. In this case the suji are placed horizontally.

The enso was drawn by Yoshimi Yamada Maples, and the calligraphy on the side is done in the Gyousho (Semi-Cursive) style. The enso is a good pairing to this phrase which reads “Form is Emptiness”. 色即是空(Shikisoku Zenkuu)

The customer wanted a black cloth (Kireji), which reminds me of the robes I saw the Buddhist priests in Japan wearing in their clergy work. The pattern I was trying to accomplish was light, dark, light. For that reason I used the white suji, the Ivory Plastic Jikusaki, and the takuboku kakehimo (White with blue and black speckle Hanging string). I think this scroll turned out quite nicely.  

Dimensions of the scrolls as follows:

Name in Kanji
Name in English
Size in Bun
Size in Inches
Partition Bottom
Artwork Width
Artwork Length
Chi First Partition
Middle Partition
Bottom Partition
Scroll Width
Scroll Length

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bonsai Display Critique #3

This is a critique of a display at the Toko Kazari competition at the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in 2011. Picture was provided to me by Bob Hilvers, Bonsai Curator at the CCJAC. The revised picture and written critique is provided by Kuzuhara (Family Name) Hiroyuki (First Name) Ikkou is the name given to him by his display society upon reaching shihan rank.
Original Display:

Photoshopped Display:

This is also a well constructed display. It is like a Bunjin Styled Ezo Matsu, (The owner of the tree told me it was not an Ezo Matsu, but I forget the actual tree), but the imagery of the branches on the thin trunk growing down by the natural weight of snow is very easy to see in the display of this tree. Within the three trunks, one trunk exhibits the stress of nature and resembles the bones after a buddhist funeral pyre.

The accent and the scroll are very good and right on target, but there is one point that came to my attention. That was the use of the pot and table.
A round, shallow pot works best for thin trunk trees that are considerably taller. The depth of the pot and the trunk thickness is an example to use as a comparison in display. The general rule I follow is a shallow pot for a thin trunk and a little deeper pot for a thick trunk, with deepest pots for Kengai etc.

For this display, rather than using a mid height table (中卓) I think this display would harmonize better utilizing a Jiita. (See the attached picture) By using the Jiita, it changes the tree to look more alive, the entire display scene to become widened and improves slightly an already wonderful display. This particular set up also pairs better with the Shin (formal) classification of the tree type, with the Sou (informal) styling of the tree.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Two Scrolls for House Decor

These two scrolls are also ordered for Home decor. The one on the right reads I am my Brothers Keeper, I am my Sisters Keeper. In Japanese it reads "Watashi wa Kyoudai no banin de ari Shimai no Banin desu. The scroll on the left reads Walk cheerfully over all the world, answering God in everyone. In Japanese it reads Sekai wo genki ni aruki kami ga Sonzai suru to shiru.

Both of these were written by Yoshimi Yamada Maples, under the supervision of her own sensei while she was back in Japan. They are written in the Gyousho style. Both scrolls are completed with a Celery green silk, and the Ichimoji is a beautiful Gold on Green. The jikusaki are the rosewood with design and bone inserts. The Hanging string is the Usukincha.

Dimensions as follows:

Name in Kanji Name in English Size in Bun Size in Inches
Ten 98 11.69
上一文字 Ue Ichimonji 10 1.19
紙本の幅さ Artwork Width 53 6.32
紙本の長さ Artwork Length 218 26.01
Pillars 11 1.31
下一文字 Shita Ichimonji 5 0.60
Chi 60 7.16
掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 75 8.95
掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 391 46.64

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Urauchi Labor

I put the Hada Urauchi on these two Joufuku works done by Yoshimi's younger brother Kouji Yamada....I think it is good to do some work on Labor day. The paper on the left had about a 1.5 inch tear on the side...can you  see it now?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Large Scroll for House Decor

 This scroll is written for a phrase of Pascal. I know calligraphy purists will poo poo the punctuation...however as this is a western theme we thought it best to write as such for this particular case.

The phrase reads in English. "Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed...All our dignity consists then in thought." It witten in the Gyousho style.

The scroll is done in a beautiful taupe partial silk. The Jikusaki is a beautifully carved rosewood with a bone insert.

Scroll Size as listed:
Name in Kanji Name in English Size in Bun Size in Inches
Ten 113 13.48
上一文字 Ue Ichimonji 9 1.07
紙本の幅さ Artwork Width 110 13.12
紙本の長さ Artwork Length 437 52.13
Pillars 21 2.51
下一文字 Shita Ichimonji 7 0.84
Chi 80 9.54
掛け軸の幅さ Scroll Width 152 18.13
掛け軸の長さ Scroll Length 646 77.06