What is Kakejiku?

What is Kakejiku?

Kakejiku or kakemono is the traditional Japanese hanging scroll. In line with westernization of the Japanese lifestyle, and the changing architecture, there are now far fewer homes with tokonoma alcoves to hang Kakejiku of arts of calligraphy and drawing. They were "musts" for homes of upper-class families, who changed scrolls to match the season. Unlike framed paintings, scrolls do not take a large storage space, as they are tightly rolled up and placed in wooden boxes.

History of Kakejiku

The Heian Period (794 - 1192)

The most original style of Japanese hanging scroll came from China. In the Early China, Buddhist missionaries carried Buddhistic paintings to spread their religion. Until the reign of Tang regime (618-907) of China, that kind of Buddhistic paintings were used to be decorated and reinforced to be proof enough for carrying. That's the archetype of hanging scrolls. After Buddhism was introduced to Japan, such a decoration style of paintings was also introduced in the Heian Period of Japan.

The Muromachi Period (1334 - 1573)

During this period, Japan's original housing architecture had quite developed.
In that architecture style, there is one special room that is called "Tokonoma".
Most of artworks including hanging scrolls were displayed in this room.
Tokonoma was regarded as the space which connects art and daily life.
This is very original thought that can not be found in other countries.

The Momoyama Period (1573 - 1600)

Two great sovereigns represent this period. Oda Nobunaga & Toyotomi Hideyoshi. They liked "Chanoyu" (tea ceremony) very much. Chanoyu ceremony was usually done in Tokonoma room. Tokonoma architecture style was developed and established in this period. Accompanied with the development of Tokonoma style, the techniques of painting and mounting were also developed because hanging scrolls were always displayed in Tokonoma room.

The Edo Period (1603 - 1868)

There were only a few big wars in this period in Japan. As this period was so peaceful, each Japanese culture had reached full maturity. Many famous painters flourished and competed each other. Hanging scrolls also became popular among the public.

After the Meiji Period (1868 - )

Much more painters competed each other for their techniques because people became absolutely free to choose their occupations from this period. Before World War 2, and for a while after that war, most of Japanese painting artworks were used to be decorated to hanging scrolls. By reasons of the above, now, we can enjoy high-quality hanging scrolls made after the Meiji Period.

How to treat Kakejiku

Kakejiku (hanging scroll) is made from silk, Japanese paper, wood & special glue. Kakejiku hates an environment that is too moist or too dry.

To keep it in good condition

1.Please do not hang the Kakejiku in a room in which the air conditioner is working excessively.
2.When storing, please keep the Kakejiku away from moisture.
3.Please give an airing in the shade twice a year.
4.Please do not leave Kakejuki hanging for a long time. Sometimes, roll it up.
5.When storing, please do not roll the Kakejiku up too tightly.

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