Order For Remounting A Hanging Scroll From Europe

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Today, we would like to tell you about how we handled a recent international order.

On our English website, we try to include as much information as possible about making/restoring hanging scrolls, in the hope that people from other countries will be able to get a grasp of the actual process. Especially for those who are considering having their own hanging scrolls remounted or restored. There is so much more to come on our website, so stay tuned.


One day, we received an inquiry from a European customer about remounting his hanging scroll.

 

We asked him to send some pictures because it is quite difficult to judge an actual problem of the hanging scroll.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Followings are the pictures we received :
*Please note that we post all the pictures with prior consent from the customer.

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The customer’s main concern was the warp/curve of the hanging scroll so we guessed its possible causes and replied as follows :

=Quote=

Possible causes of the warp are as follows :

+ Type of glue used for mounting this picture.
+ Storage Condition (Too humid or dry, rapid change of humidity is bad.)
+ Stiff mounting fabric.
(Especially, gold brocade used for this picture looks like a stiff one.)
It seems to me that the main cause of the warp is due to this stiff gold brocade.

After remounted, the warp will be surely better but kindly be noted that hanging scroll will not be completely flat due to its original nature.
Kindly see the details as below.

  1. Influence of humidity throughout year. (Inevitable)
  2. Hanging scroll is to be curled when stored so winding curl is unavoidable.
  3. Winding curl is also influenced by type of mounting fabric. (Soft or stiff)

 

The customer wanted to get rid of the warp and requested us to estimate for remounting/restoration.
The price varies depending on the way of remounting and also fabrics to use.
Thus, prior to offering our estimation, we asked him to let us know if he has any preferences.

=Quote=

First about the mounting, I think the style of mounting where is now on my picture scroll is not correct.
I prefer the shin or gyou style of mounting, but I need your help in this case which style is correct for my picture.
I don’t have any preference in fabric or pattern, but I like if the fuutai and ichimonji part would be mounted with blue-gold color’s.
Because of the design, I need your help too.

 

Wow!! We instantly realized he has thoroughly read our web pages.
We could tell it because he used Japanese technical terms perfectly such as gyou style (one of mounting styles), fuutai and ichimonji (mounting parts).
It was an unexpected lovely surprise for us to know the certain people from overseas have visited our website and studied about hanging scrolls.

=Quote=

Before working on our estimation, we first confirmed about the actual size of the artwork.

  1. Please let me know size for :

+ Your hanging scroll (including all mounting parts)
+ Main work

  1. Your preference for length. (Keep it or make it longer)

In Japan, we normally mount your type of hanging scroll into Gyou-style.
However, for Gyou-style, I’m afraid the length will be longer for hanging at the same place (above your table) so please review below and let me know which you prefer.

For Maru-style (same mounting style as now)
Length will be totally same. Only Ichimonji will be blue-gold colored.

For Gyou-style {including Tenchi (Top & bottom) & Nakamawashi (inner enclosure)}
Length will be longer if we do ordinary mounting.
If you prefer to keep length as it is now, we are able to do it but please be noted the length of Tenchi & Nakamawash will be shorten to adjust.

Both Ichimonji & Fuutai can be blue-gold colored.

 

We were a bit worried if we can fully make ourselves understood in our correspondence since we stated all the mounting parts in Japanese technical terms.
However, our worries proved groundless. His comprehension for hanging scrolls was just perfect.

=Quote=

I prefer the Gyou-style but in the same length as it is now.
The wall where is hanging the picture scroll is 2.38m long (this is measured from the ceiling to the bottom).
It’s ok for me when the Tenchi and the Nakamawash would be shorter.
If the whole scroll would be a little longer than now, that is also fine for me, but not much, because all walls has the same length in my house.

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He gave us a detailed illustration for our reference.
How kind!! We felt his strong passion for remounting his hanging scroll so we were determined to respond to the customer’s needs.

=Quote=

After reviewing the above picture, length of the scroll was much longer than I first expected so I suppose we are able to remount the scroll by ordinary Gyou-style.
Of course we need to check your scroll in our factory but even if we have to shorten Tenchi & Nakamawashi, I confirm that they will not be too short.

 

After confirming a size of the hanging scroll, we offered a rough estimate with 3 mounting patterns as shown below :

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The customer liked No.2 and asked us to re-estimate as his request, which is to use nakamawashi (inner enclosure) fabric of No.3 as tenchi (top & bottom) fabric for No.2. Here’s a new sample.

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The customer liked it very much and decided to remount his kakejiku in this way so we asked him to send his scroll to us.
The reason we offer our final quotation upon receipt of an artwork is that we need to check its actual state in person to make a judgment. Thus, our order procedure will be as follows :

1.Please contact us by email
2.Confirm your order in details by email exchanges
3.Offer our rough estimate
4.Please send us your artwork
5.Receipt of your artwork
6.Offer our official quotation
7.Please place a firm order

Please rest assured that we will return your artwork at our end if you do not agree to the contents of the official quotation.


Approx. 1 week later, the hanging scroll arrived. Welcome to Japan!

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We felt like giving it a cuddle because it has been through a long long journey far away from home.

 

Here’s the mentioned hanging scroll.

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We sent an email to the customer that we duly received the hanging scroll with below comments.

=Quote=

After checking the actual kakejiku, we fully understood what you mentioned before, about the warp overall the kakejiku and also rough and stiff touch.
I suppose these are caused due to use of too strong glue when mounted last time.
Removing the old backing paper will be hard and tough work but we decided to do our best to make the kakejiku smoother.

 

In his reply, he asked us for our advice regarding the mounting fabrics.

=Quote=

Now you have the actual kakejiku in front of you.
Do you have any other recommendations or any ideas of better combination for my kakejiku?
The most important thing for me is to make it in Japanese style, just as ordinary Japanese would do.

 

Oh, the customer wanted to remount it in a way that perfectly matches Japanese aesthetic sensibility.
We felt very honored to be entrusted with such an important decision.
We were committed to offer our best choice of the mounting fabrics since we felt the customer’s deep love for his hanging scroll through our email exchanges.


When choosing the mounting fabrics, the most essential step is that if they match the main theme of the artwork.
We pay more attention to its meaning or an image that the artwork naturally reminds us of.

In this case, the picture was about “Twenty-Four Generals of Takeda Shingen”.
For more information about the theme, please refer to the following web page :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-Four_Generals_of_Takeda_Shingen

Takeda Shingen is a well-known & very popular samurai in Koshu (Kai province) and the crest of the Takeda family is well known as Takeda-bishi (rhombus).
That’s why we started with nakamawashi part as below.

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For nakamawashi, we picked up rhombus-patterned fabric that we thought most suitable. (We call this fabric “Takeda-bishi”)
Rhombus was often used on armors of samurai back in the day so this pattern is perfect for Takeda Shingen.
Also, the fabric color goes well with the main artwork.

 

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For ichimonji part (Fabrics attached to above & below main work), we chose brown-gold brocade that goes well and also accentuate the antique picture.
If we choose a bright or colorful one here, ichimonji part stands out and draw too much attention to it rather than to the main work.
We call this situation “Ruining the main work”.

 

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For tenchi part (Top & bottom), we chose a soft & quiet-toned woven fabric as shown in the below picture since we normally use a fabric that is almost plain or the one that color & pattern do not stand out.
In order to accentuate the main work, it is very important to make contrast intentionally so that kakejiku can draw people’s attention from the outside to the inside, then finally to the main work.
The design will appear too busy if all mounting parts are too much colorful & patterned.

 

The customer liked the new combination and gave us an official order.
Now, let’s get down to work.


Removing Old Mounting Fabrics

The first process is to remove the old mounting fabrics around the main work.

 

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Color Fixing

We use a lot of water during remounting/restoration process.
We coat the surface of a picture with a special chemical beforehand so the colors or ink will not bleed/run during the process.
It is a work that requires a lot of time, effort and patience.
Our craftsmen brushes each depicted part of the picture with the chemical and leaves it dry.
Sometimes, we repeat this procedure over and over.

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Removing an Old Backing Paper

Next process is to remove an old backing paper from the main work.
We set the artwork face down on the table and spray water to soften glue.
The degree of difficulty varies depending on the condition of the work and the adhesive force of paste used in the former mounting.
Certain types of old glue may prove extremely difficult to remove.
In that case, we have to scrape or rub an old backing paper off the main work and we need to concentrate very hard on removing the backing paper only.
If it is done forcibly, it may lead to tear of the main work.

 

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Spray water to the old backing paper to soften the glue.

 

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Apply water thoroughly using a brush.

 

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Let it sit for a minute or so before testing the adhesive to see if it has sufficiently softened then start peeling.

 

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The most important thing here is not to hurry. Peel lightly and slowly.

 

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Delicate sense of touch is essential.

 

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It takes a long time to peel the backing paper off an entire artwork.

 

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At last, the backing paper has been successfully removed.
We were relieved that it came off smoothly than we first expected so we could just “peel” instead of “rub off”.


 

After removing the backing paper, damaged parts that were hidden by the backing paper becomes apparent.
We had noticed some tears in the upper part when we first received the actual artwork.

 

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Tears at the upper edge.

 

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A tear above Takeda Shingen.

 

We confirmed with the customer if we should cut the torn part or leave as it is to maintain the original length.
His choice was the latter one so we try to make these tears look inconspicuous as possible as per following way :

 

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Covering holes by pulling fabrics around the tears together.

 


The First Backing of the Main Work

Backing (called “urauchi”) is the act of applying paper (washi- Japanese paper) to the back of paper, silk, or fabric with glue for reinforcement.
In mounting a “kakejiku” (hanging scroll), the first backing called “hada-urauchi,” is applied directly onto the back of the main work.
In this process, relatively thin, firm paper is used.

 

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kakejiku_remount_from_europe0037Now we apply the glue to the backing paper. We adjust viscosity of the glue depending on the main work’s material.
For silk, we use a high viscosity one so that silk will not shrink while drying due to its strong elasticity.

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0038Cover the entire surface of the Japanese backing paper with a brush. This is quite a physical work to evenly spread the thick glue.

 

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Transfer the excess glue to a glue-started area then remove.

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0040Completed spreading the glue evenly. Now it is ready for the first backing.

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0041Let’s begin the first backing. Our craftsman holds one end with his left hand.

 

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0042With brush stroke onto the backing paper, he attaches it to the back of the main art work.

 

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0043Be careful not to let the backing paper wrinkle.

 

 

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kakejiku_remount_from_europe0045After attaching the backing paper, beat the surface with the brush for adhering the backing paper firmly to the main work.

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0046Keep beating until he confirms they completely adhere.

 


Drying on A Wooden board

Once the backing is finished, we put the main work on a wooden board and let it dry. This process is called “kari-bari”. It just stands for “temporary sticking”.

 

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Additional glue is applied to the edge of backing paper for adhesion

 

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Cut and Join

Take out the artwork from the board once it is completely dry. Cut the excess backing paper. Then, join each mounting part to the main work with glue in the particular order, which is to attach a part from closest to farthest of the main work.

 

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kakejiku_remount_from_europe0053A scale used for measuring a narrow margin.

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0054Attach a mounting part for the pillar of inner enclosure (nakamawashi).

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0055Cut the excess fabric.

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0056Attach a mounting part for top of inner enclosure.

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0057Attaching a part for top (ten).

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0058This is the backside of the work after all the mounting parts (10 pieces) are attached.

 

 

Now, we repeat the backing process twice.


The Second Backing

The second backing is called “mashi-urauchi” (subsidiary backing of the main work and mounting fabric). It is added to maintain balance between the main work and the mounting fabric, in terms of their thickness and strength.

 


The Final Backing

The final backing is called “sou-urauchi.” It is added to obtain a flat and smooth finish, so that the kakejiku can be rolled up smoothly.

 


Finishing

A hanging rod is attached to the top of the kakejiku, while a roller rod with knobs is attached to the bottom.
Decorative fabric strips are sewn onto the hanging rod and ring tacks are hammered in and a hanging cord and a wrapping cord are attached.

 

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kakejiku_remount_from_europe0060Sew decorative fabrics (fuutai) on a hanging rod by hand.

 

kakejiku_remount_from_europe0061Attach a hanging cord (kakeo) to ring tacks.

 

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kakejiku_remount_from_europe0063Attach a roller rod with knobs.

 

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Finally, this is the finished hanging scroll.

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Rough, stiff feeling and a warp from the former mounting disappeared.
New mounting fabrics match perfectly to the main work.
The use of soft-toned beige for ten & chi and brown ichimon-ji makes the main work appear bigger due to the same color scheme, while rhombus-patterned nakamawashi (inner enclosure) gives more powerful and gracious look to the samurai warriors.
Combined all together, they accentuate and heighten the effect of the hanging scroll.


With some pictures, we advised our customer that his artwork is finally finished.
We were a bit nervous whether he liked it or not but what we received was the heart warming messages.

=Quote=

Thank you very much for your message, WOW it looks absolutely amazing. I am so happy that I have made a decision for remount my kakejiku with your company. And I really don’t think, that this process goes so fast.

Yuuichi-san, thanks once again for all you have done and I will let you know immediately after the kakejiku has arrived my home.

Thanks a lot for your service, the very good communications and of course for the remounting of my kakejiku. I am excited to see my kakekjiu in a new mounting in front of me.

I also feel honored to use your company to do this job, and since our first Email I have a trustful feeling with you.

Of course I checked the Internet for someone who is professional in this job and this was not so easy, because nobody could help me in this case. I also have studied your website and the describing process for a remounting and the way you do during the whole process. All this was the reason for me to use your company.

 

We were so happy to see the customer who has studied and appreciated our website so much. Moreover, we were happy to know that he was pleased with our work and service.

 

A few days later, we were informed from him that the kakejiku has returned to him safely.

 

 =Quote=

The kakejiku has already safely arrived my home.

I’m very positive surprised about my kakekjiu. It’s absolutely amazing, the color and the pattern of the silk you have used goes in harmony together with the picture.  It’s just perfect in every case of work. And it looks much better in real than on the photo.

I am very glad to bring my kakekjiu to your company for remounting. For me it’s so important that the picture is now safely protected by a quality made remounting.

Yuuichi-san, thank you very much for all you have done for me, and please let say my thanks also to all the person who has worked on my kakekjiu.

I was also an honor to me to work with you.

Domo Arigato  Yuuichi-san

 

We were glad that our feelings got through to him through the kakejiku.
Our commitment is to make a good faith effort to respond to customer needs so we are greatly honored to be of help and to receive praise from the customer.
Thank you very much. We felt very proud for what we have done and became speechless.
We almost cried when we read his kind words.


 

Here are some pictures that the customer kindly sent us.
The remounted/restored hanging scroll is displayed in his house.

 

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We are very happy that the renewed kakejiku is now being enjoyed in his house.It is a great complement.
Also, we felt a fresh surprising impression to see the kakejiku actually being decorated in western-style room like the customer’s.

 

Nowadays, most Japanese houses are being built without an alcove (tokonoma), which means there are fewer place to hang the scroll. However, we believe the hanging scroll can be enjoyed anywhere and it does not matter if you have an alcove or not. This is what we would like to share with people in Japan/from other countries onwards. Above pictures say it all. It is wonderfully beautiful. These pictures re-convinced us that there is no limitation for the kakejiku.

 

It has been an enjoyable challenge and fun to work with the customer for the last 3 months. Thank you once again for choosing us. We will continue to convey charm of the kakejiku all over the world.

 

Thank you for reading this post.

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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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Access Map

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)