Taking Care of your Kakejiku

Congratulations! You’ve made a beautiful investment for your martial art school or for your home interior. Please relax and enjoy your new calligraphy for a while; then come back here to learn how to keep your art work looking great for a long time. 

Japanese calligraphies and hanging scrolls are designed to last. Hundreds of years. Your kakejiku will be a lasting masterpiece with minimal maintenance. Here's all you need to know about looking after your new artwork.


Kakejiku and calligraphies are delicate works of art

Japanese calligraphies and kakejiku, like any other work of art, are vulnerable to UV. Avoid displaying in direct sunlight. Under persistent direct exposure, the colours of the fabric and the calligraphy will fade.

Hanging scrolls are created using high-quality but delicate washi and textiles glued together. As a result, they are particularly sensitive to strong moisture and extreme dryness

There are a few things to bear in mind if you want to keep your kakejiku in good shape:

    1. Do not hang in a room with excessive air conditioning or in a humid environment.
    2. Store the kakejiku in its kiri box in a cool, dry location.
    3. In order to eradicate insects and fungi, kakejiku were traditionally dried twice a year, in the spring and fall, on a bright sunny day. They were hung outside, but NOT in direct sunlight, in order to allow them to breathe. We understand that it may not be easy to do so anymore, but if you have the opportunity to do mushi-boshi (虫干し - "bug dry"), we definitely recommend you to do so.
    4. It's a good idea to roll the kakejiku up once in a while and let it rest in its kiri box for a short period of time.
    5. Always manipulate with care.
    6. When rolling a kakejiku up, be careful not to wind it too tightly. Wrap the top lace (kake-himo) loosely around it to tie it.
Utagawa Kunisada - Women doing Mushi-boshi
Women doing mushi-boshi for their kimonos - By Utagawa Kunisada, 1854.

How to tie a kakejiku

First, roll the scroll all the way up.

Tying a Japanese hanging scroll
Then, insert the maki-gami between the final two layers.
tying a Japanese kakejiku
The maki-gami goes under the kake-himo (top lateral lace).
Tying a Japanese scroll
Wrap the maki-gami around the kakejiku.
Tying a Japanese hanging scroll
The maki-gami goes under the kake-himo again.
Tying a kakejiku
Now, take the maki-o (long vertical lace) and place it slightly to the left of the maki-gami.
tying a Japanese calligraphy scroll
Wrap the maki-o around the kakejiku three times, going over the lateral lace each time.
Tying a Japanese kakejiku
Tying a Japanese kakejiku
Tying a Japanese kakejiku
Make a "V" with the tip of the lace.
tying a Japanese hanging scroll
This time the maki-o goes under the lateral lace.
tying a Japanese calligraphy
tying a Japanese calligraphy
Then under again, on the other side.
tying a japanese scroll
You did it! Otsukare-sama deshita!
Kakejiku final knot
Now you can safely store the kakejiku in its kiri box. When you want to display the scroll again, simply pull the tip of the maki-o and the entire lace will untie.

Remember to unroll the scroll slowly and handle it with care.

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