Materials of Nihonga

Materials

“Nihonga” (Japanese-style paintings) have continued to evolve for over one thousand years. However, the technique of mixing natural mineral pigments (“tennen iwa-enogu”) with animal glue, which is central to the tradition, has remained unchanged. Materials, such as “sumi” ink, wood, silk, and paper, also continue to be used. Moreover, even metals are used in nihonga and render a unique world of sublime beauty. Although it is possible to make various colors artificially today, historically, colors that could not be found in mineral pigments were derived from natural vegetable dyes.
Nihonga have been executed since old times on such materials as rock surface, earthen walls, wood, linen, silk, and paper, on which it is possible to stabilize pigments by using animal glue. The materials that function as support for paintings and painting techniques are closely related and have developed together.

Silk and Washi


Washi -Japanese Paper-

Silk and “washi” (Japanese paper) are often used for the materials that function as support for “kakejiku” (hanging scroll) paintings, because they are thin materials. Thick materials may be damaged when a kakejiku is rolled up.

Sumi (Ink)


Sumi – Indian Ink –

Sumi (ink) is made from soot mixed with a glue from fishbone or animal hide. It is the most represented black coloring material used in East Asian paintings.

Iwa-enogu (Natural Pigments)

“Tennen iwa-enogu” (natural mineral pigments) are pigments derived from natural ingredients: minerals, shells, corals and even semi-precious stones like malachite, azurite and cinnabar. The raw materials are powdered into about 16 gradations from fine to sandy grain textures. A hide glue solution, called “nikawa,” is used as a binder for these powdered pigments.


Paintings made for framing are often different from ones made for kakejiku, in how the artist applies iwa-enogu (mineral pigments). Iwa-enogu are often applied heavily to paintings for framing, so they can’t be mounted in kakejiku. This is because they may be damaged if we roll them up. Recently, a “futomaki” (roller clamp) is sometimes used to prevent it. It is a large roller rod used to cover the already-attached roller rod, when rolling a kakejiku. By making the diameter of the roller rod bigger, creasing, distortion, and other forms of tension on the main work can be prevented. However, there is a limit to the effect of a futomaki, so the pigments in kakejiku paintings are usually applied lightly.

Gofun (Powdered Calcium Carbonate)

“Gofun” (powdered calcium carbonate that is made from cured oyster, clam or scallop shells) is an important material used in nihonga. Different kinds of gofun are utilized as a background for under-painting, and as a fine white top color.
 
 
 
 
 

Metals

Metals, such as gold and silver in the form of leaf and “dei” (powder manufactured from leaf), have also been used as Japanese painting materials. The diverse methods of expression in which metals are used may be considered as a characteristic of Japanese painting. Today, various metals other than gold and silver, such as platinum,copper, and aluminum, are also used in the form of leaf, or dei.
 
 
 
 

Tools / Preparation

Tools for painting

Preparation for using materials

 
 

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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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Access Map


 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)