Tokonoma Album 002: Koi Fish Shooting up a Waterfall, Takasago, etc

Tokonoma: 3 Koi Fish shooting up a waterfall kakejiku

tokonoma_Koi Fish (Carp) Shooting up a Waterfall

The Japanese have a custom of holding a variety of events praying for the healthy growth of boys, on the day of Tango-no-sekku, and May 5 is a national holiday, called “Children’s Day.”

In a few regions, it is celebrated on June 5th, following the old lunar calendar.

In Japan, there was a ritual called “Satsuki-imi” (literally, accursed May), where all the men went out of the house, and only women stayed inside to wash the impurities away, and purify themselves before rice planting.

This custom was connected to “tango,” which came from China.

In the Imperial Palace, people wearing a Japanese iris in their hair got together at the “Butokuden” (a palace building) and were granted a “Kusudama” (literally, a ball of medicine made of herbs with a decoration added) by the emperor.

A record from the Nara period described these events in the imperial court.

The word for the Japanese iris was pronounced the same as the word for martial spirit (both were pronounced “shoubu”), and the shape of the leaves of the Japanese iris reminds people of swords. Therefore, tango was determined as the “sekku” for boys and people prayed for the healthy growth of boys during the Kamakura period.
The typical way to celebrate tango-no-sekku is to display armor, a helmet, a sword, a doll warrior, or “gogatsu-ningyou” doll (literally, doll of May) modeled after Kintarou (a famous brave boy in a nursery tale) on a tiered stand in a room, and to fly “Koi-nobori” (carp streamers) on a pole in the front yard.

Displaying armor symbolizes protecting the boys.

The custom of displaying koi-nobori originates in the Chinese tradition, and it is meant to pray for the success in a boy’s life.

The kakejiku which is displayed in this event can be describeds as follows:

The kakejiku of an iris painting.

The kakejiku of a “musha” (an armoured warrior) painting.

The kakejiku of a carp shooting up a waterfall.
It is said in Chinese history that a lot of fish tried to swim up a waterfall called “Ryuumon” in the rapids of the Yellow River, but only the carp succeeded and thus became dragons.

The kakejiku of a tiger or a dragon painting.
Their grand strength is believed to wards off evil spirits.

 

 

 

 

Tokonoma: Takasago kakejiku

takasago_tokonoma-e1484710357886

According to the Takasago Shrine in Takasago City, Hyougo Prefecture, there have been “Aioi-no-Matsu” (twin pines: a Japanese red pine and Japanese black pine that share their roots) ever since the Shinto shrine was established.

A pair of trees called “Jou” (old man) and “Uba” (old woman) – a Japanese form of Darby and Joan – bearing the legend, “We kami reside in these trees to show the world the way of marital virtue,” stand within the shrine.

This is why a Takasago painting is often displayed on an auspicious occasion.

Takasago generally means of an old man and woman.

 

 

Tokonoma: Landscape in sumi ink Kakejiku

tokonoma sansui

The landscape, often called “sansui” (literally mountain and water), is one of the subjects of the usual kakejiku.

“Suiboku-ga” (ink painting), the art of painting in just one color using “sumi” (Japanese ink), is not only for painting lines, but also for showing gradation through contrasting ink density and lighting.

The landscape painting with sumi is called a “suiboku-sansui.”

 

 

Tokonoma: Saigoku Pilgrimage Kakejiku

tokonoma_Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage_daigo02

“Saigoku-Sanjuusan-kasho” is a pilgrimage of thirty-three Buddhist temples throughout the Kansai region of Japan.

The pilgrimage route of the Saigoku Sanjusankasho includes, as additional holy places, three more temples associated with the founder of the pilgrimage, Saint Tokudou, and the Cloistered Emperor Kazan who revitalized it.

The principal image in each temple is Kannon-Bosatsu; however, there is some variation among the images and the powers they possess.

Pilgrims record their progress with a prayer book called “Noukyou-chou,” which the staff of each temple marks with red stamps and Japanese calligraphy, indicating the temple number, the temple name and the specific name of the Kannon image.

Some pilgrims receive the stamps and calligraphy on plain silk, which will be mounted on a kakejiku (hanging scroll) by a kakejiku craftsman “hyougushi” like us.

The kakejiku, which is called “saigoku-sanjuusan-kasho-shuuinjiku,” is very popular in Japan.

It is sometimes used in Buddhist memorial services.

The above kakejiku was mounted with Shin Buddhist style. (pattern #10)

 

 

 

Tokonoma: Amaterasu Oomikami Calligraphic Work Kakejiku

amaterasu tokonoma
The sun has, since ancient times, been worshipped around the world and many religions have developed out of sun worshipping traditions.

For example, “Amaterasu Oomikami,” the top god in Japanese mythology, is the sun god.

A “kakejiku” (hanging scroll), on which “Tenshoukoutaijin”(Amaterasu Oomikami) is written, is often displayed in “tokonoma” (alcove) for the safety of the family, a state of perfect health, a good harvest, and so on.

 

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CEO Message

Our Feelings For Kakejiku


 The Japanese people have long set a high value on aesthetic senses since ancient times. As a result, the
peculiar culture which is not seen in other countries blossomed and many aspects of the modern Japanese
culture come from it. Parts of Japanese culture has been introduced to people in other countries recently,
so the number of people from other countries who are interested in Japanese culture has been increasing.
However, the Japanese aesthetic senses, which are the bases of Japanese culture, have been nurtured
through a long history, intertwining various elements intricately, such as climate, geographical features,
religion, customs and so on. Therefore, they are very difficult to understand not only for people from other
countries, but even for the Japanese people. I think the best tool which conveys these difficult senses
understandably is a “kakejiku.”
 The kakejiku (a hanging scroll; a work of calligraphy or a painting which is mounted and hung in an
alcove or on a wall) is a traditional Japanese art. It's no exaggeration to say that paintings are what
express aesthetic senses at all times and places. The kakejiku is an art which expresses the Japanese
aesthetic senses. The kakejiku has long been used in traditional Japanese events, daily life and so on since
ancient times. As a result, there are various customs of kakejiku in Japan; kakejiku and the life of the
Japanese are closely related. We can see Japanese values through kakejiku.
 The kakejiku is a cultural tradition which the Japanese people should be proud of. However, many people
in other countries don't know much about it because it hasn't been showcased as much. This is why I
decided to try to introduce it. The kakejiku world is very interesting and beautiful. We want not only the
Japanese, but also many people from other countries to know and enjoy it. I hope that many people will
love kakejiku someday.

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Company Profile
syaoku.jpg(120220 byte)

Name Art Nomura


President Tatsuji Nomura


Founded1973


Established1992


Address7-23 Babadori, Tarumi-ku, Kobe city,
Hyougo Prefecture, 655-0021, Japan



Capital10 million yen


URLhttp://nomurakakejiku.com


Our Business

 Art Nomura is an art dealer which produces kakejiku (hanging scrolls). We mount many paintings and calligraphic works in kakejiku in my factory. Kakejiku are our main product. We also remount and repair old or damaged kakejiku. We share the traditional Japanese art of kakejiku with people all over the world.



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 The Japanese people have long set a high value on aesthetic senses since ancient times. As a result, the
peculiar culture which is not seen in other countries blossomed and many aspects of the modern Japanese
culture come from it. Parts of Japanese culture has been introduced to people in other countries recently,
so the number of people from other countries who are interested in Japanese culture has been increasing.
However, the Japanese aesthetic senses, which are the bases of Japanese culture, have been nurtured
through a long history, intertwining various elements intricately, such as climate, geographical features,
religion, customs and so on. Therefore, they are very difficult to understand not only for people from other
countries, but even for the Japanese people. I think the best tool which conveys these difficult senses
understandably is a “kakejiku.”
 The kakejiku (a hanging scroll; a work of calligraphy or a painting which is mounted and hung in an
alcove or on a wall) is a traditional Japanese art. It's no exaggeration to say that paintings are what
express aesthetic senses at all times and places. The kakejiku is an art which expresses the Japanese
aesthetic senses. The kakejiku has long been used in traditional Japanese events, daily life and so on since
ancient times. As a result, there are various customs of kakejiku in Japan; kakejiku and the life of the
Japanese are closely related. We can see Japanese values through kakejiku.
 The kakejiku is a cultural tradition which the Japanese people should be proud of. However, many people
in other countries don't know much about it because it hasn't been showcased as much. This is why I
decided to try to introduce it. The kakejiku world is very interesting and beautiful. We want not only the
Japanese, but also many people from other countries to know and enjoy it. I hope that many people will
love kakejiku someday.

(or press ESC or click the overlay)