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Picture Hanging System

Hyōgushi also known as scroll mounter is the one responsible in assembling a kakejiku. They follow a picture hanging system in creating these works of art. A piece of hanging scroll is often made up of paper, wood or metal, silk and glue. The type of environment where a hanging scroll would be kept should not be too moist or too dry. Very high humidity can damage the fabric, and excessive use of air conditioning can also deteriorate the scroll materials. Scroll arts when not in use can also be rolled up and kept in a dry place. While rolling, make sure not roll the scroll too tight.

In hanging the picture, keep your hands clean and dry. If your palms are sweating, dry it first before touching your scroll art. Initially, clean the area where you would place the kakejiku. If there are vases or other decorative pieces in the area, remove them first. Hold the scroll and carefully untie the lace. Remove the Japanese paper cover. Hold it with both hands before unrolling. Hang it on the hook, and slowly unroll.

There are two types of scroll use in kakejiku. The first is the standing scroll or tatejiku; it is a hanging scroll with a shorter width than the height. On the other hand, the side scroll or yokojiku has a longer width than the height. Between the two types, the standing scroll is more appropriately used in tea ceremonies. Naming systems are used to classify the types of scrolls. One of the oldest system used is through assigning the terms: Formal (Shin), Semi-formal (Gyo), and Informal (So). Another naming system uses the name of the school or region where the kakejiku mounter came from. Handcrafted kakejiku with original paintings are also more valuable than typical kakejiku. During the Muromachi or Ashikaga period (1337 to 1573) the most commonly used designs were paintings of birds and flowers, landscapes and portraiture. The use of poetry like haikus through calligraphy has also been popular. To set a spiritual mood in tea ceremonies, the kakejiku centerpiece is accompanied by a flower arrangement.

This type of art is widely popular because it can be easily changed for every occasion or event. A good Japanese scroll art does not only provide aesthetic value; it also expresses historical data. More than a sheet of materials, great meaning and historical background is embedded in each hanging scroll art.


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