A kakemono (掛物?, "hanging"), more commonly referred to as a kakejiku (掛軸?, "hung scroll"), is a Japanese scroll painting or calligraphy mounted usually with silk fabric edges on a flexible backing, so that it can be rolled for storage.
As opposed to makimono, which are meant to be unrolled laterally on a flat surface, a kakemono is intended to be hung against a wall as part of the interior decoration of a room. It is traditionally displayed in the tokonoma alcove of a room especially designed for the display of prized objects. When displayed in a chashitsu, or teahouse for the traditional tea ceremony, the choice of the kakemono and its complementary flower arrangement help set the spiritual mood of the ceremony. Often the kakemono used for this will bear calligraphy of a Zen phrase in the hand of a distinguished Zen master.
In contrast to byōbu (folding screen) or shohekiga (wall paintings), kakemono can be easily and quickly changed to match the season or occasion.
The kakemono was introduced to Japan during the Heian period, primarily for displaying Buddhist images for religious veneration, or as a vehicle to display calligraphy or poetry. From the Muromachi period, landscapes, flower and bird paintings, portraiture, and poetry became the favorite themes.
If the width is shorter than the height, it is called a vertical work (竪物 tatemono?) or Standing Scroll (立軸 tatejiku?)(needs verification); if the width is longer than the height, it is called a horizontal work (横物 yokomono?) or horizontal scroll (横軸 yokojiku?).
The "Maruhyousou" 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 maruhyousou style, (not pictured above) also contains a section of "ichimonji" made from "kinran" gold thread. On observation, the Ten is longer than the Chi. This is due to the fact that 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.
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 "hassou" 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.
- Mason, Penelope. History of Japanese Art. Prentice Hall (2004). ISBN 0-13-117602-1
- ↑ Hyodokai & Tooru Arakawa, "Watakushi ni mo Dekiru Hyougu no Tsukurikata Nyuumon". Shibuya, Japan 1997 pg. 63
- ↑ Personal Conversation, Sagawa, Taishin, Hyousoushi 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 Hyougu no Tsukurikata Nyuumon". Shibuya, Japan 1997 pg. 130-147
- ↑ Custom Japanese Calligraphy, Jonathan Maples, excerpts translated from the Arakawa text