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A kakemono (掛物, "hanging thing"), more commonly referred to as a kakejiku (掛軸, "hung scroll"), is a Japanese hanging scroll used to display and exhibit paintings and calligraphy inscriptions and designs mounted usually with silk fabric edges on a flexible backing, so that it can be rolled for storage.
The "Maruhyōsō" style of kakejiku has four distinct named sections. The top section is called the "ten" heaven. The bottom is the "chi" earth with the "hashira" pillars supporting the heaven and earth on the sides. The maruhyōsō style, also contains a section of "ichimonji" made from "kinran" gold thread. On observation, the Ten is longer than the Chi. This is because in the past, Kakemono were viewed from a kneeling (seiza) position and provided perspective to the "Honshi" main work. This tradition carries on to modern times.[better source needed]
There is a cylindrical rod called jikugi (軸木) at the bottom, which becomes the axis or center of the rolled scroll. The end knobs on this rod are in themselves called jiku, and are used as grasps when rolling and unrolling the scroll.
Other parts of the scroll include the "jikubo" referenced above as the jikugi. The top half moon shaped wood rod is named the "hassō" to which the "kan" or metal loops are inserted in order to tie the "kakehimo" hanging thread. Attached to the jikubo are the "jikusaki", the term used for the end knobs, which can be inexpensive and made of plastic or relatively decorative pieces made of ceramic or lacquered wood. Additional decorative wood or ceramic pieces are called "fuchin" and come with multicolored tassels. The variation in the kakehimo, jikusaki and fuchin make each scroll more original and unique.
The arrival of kakemonos to the Spanish colonies in the Philippines and the Americas prompted local artists to imitate the format as a convenient way to provide portable art.
- Hyodokai & Tooru Arakawa, "Watakushi ni mo Dekiru Hyōgu no Tsukurikata Nyūmon". Shibuya, Japan 1997 pg. 63
- Personal Conversation, Sagawa, Taishin, Hyōsōshi Instructor of Shibuya Kakejikuya.
- Masako Koyano, Japanese Scroll Paintings: A Handbook of Mounting Techniques. Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Washington D.C., 1979
- Hyodokai & Tooru Arakawa, "Watakushi ni mo Dekiru Hyōgu no Tsukurikata Nyūmon". Shibuya, Japan 1997 pg. 130-147
- Custom Japanese Calligraphy, Jonathan Maples, excerpts translated from the Arakawa text
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