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Calligraphy on Paulownia wood – Gi 「義」("righteousness")

Regular price ¥35,000 JPY
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Gi, "righteousness" or "justice," is one of the five confucian virtues (benevolence, righteousness, knowledge, sincerity, and propriety) that served as the foundation for the so-called seven (or eight) samurai virtues

As Inazo Nitobe wrote:

Rectitude, or Justice, is the strongest virtue of Bushido. A well-known samurai defines it this way: ‘Rectitude is one’s power to decide upon a course of conduct in accordance with reason, without wavering; to die when to die is right, to strike when to strike is right.’ Another speaks of it in the following terms: ‘Rectitude is the bone that gives firmness and stature. Without bones, the head cannot rest on top of the spine, nor hands move nor feet stand. So without Rectitude, neither talent nor learning can make the human frame into a samurai.’

In China, Gi was frequently opposed to Ri (利), which translates as "profit" or "benefits." Confucius, for example, argued in the Analects that noblemen should strive for righteousness, whilst commoners were just interested in profit. As a result, Confucian scholars should constantly pursue justice above all else. For them, if a ruler pursued Gi, the kingdom would flourish; but, if he pursued Ri instead, the realm would collapse.

Mengcius expanded on Confucius' philosophy, writing that seeking profit was futile and that justice should be pursued even if it cost one's own death. The ideal of Gi eventually transformed into a samurai virtue in Japan. 

On the other hand, Mohist philosophers claimed that justice was profit, since Gi eventually benefitted people, noting that Confucians primarily considered Ri in terms of individual, monetary profit, whereas Mohists considered Ri in terms of public good.


About kiri (paulownia)

Kiri, known in the West as paulownia, or sometimes princess tree, is a lightweight wood that has a distinctive silky surface. It offers a beautiful contrast with black ink.

Kiri were once sacred trees in China, because people believed that phoenixes only perched on their branches. Due to these revered origins, the Japanese imperial family adopted the kiri flower as one of its emblems towards the end of the first millennium.

In Japan, it was also customary to plant a paulownia when a girl was born. Later, when the daughter married, the tree would be cut down and transformed into a dresser for her kimonos.

Nowadays, kiri wood is often used to craft furnitures, music instruments or gift box.

Hanging system

This calligraphy features a set of metallic hooks and wire for hanging. These can be easily removed and replaced with your own system or frame if you wish to do so.


– Japanese kiri (Paulownia) wood
– Japanese Ink
– Oil-base permanent varnish
– Metallic hooks & wire

Shipping & Returns

Shipped within 2 to 3 business days.

Please see our shipping policy
and return policy.


Size: 35 x 35 x 1.8 cm

Weight: about 0.5 Kg

Care Instructions

Kiri is a very lightweight wood with low density and is thus delicate.
Manipulate with care and avoid collision with other objects.

The item is protected with an oil-base permanent varnish, and requires very little maintenance.

Do not display under direct sunlight.

Wood is a natural material and can warp slightly over time.

Calligraphy on wood

Custom-made Calligraphy

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