Kakejiku
Kakejiku (掛軸) - also called Kakemono (掛物), is a traditional hanging scroll.


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Fire-Heaven-Earth-Water
(Aug 2010)

I have done some experiments using a cloth base, but this is my first complete work.

The actual calligraphy was done on a "standard" 135cm. strip. After this it was carefully glued to the actual "scroll-hanger" (made of paper, bought ready to use in California from a Japanese shop - roughly 1.80 m.). The two pieces were glued together using a special thermal adhesive film.
Finally I selected and cut another heavy paper and added the two ichimonji (文字) i.e. the narrow strips immediately above and below the calligraphy.

The 4 ideograms are - from top to bottom - Fire, Heaven, Earth, Water according to a motto allegedly from Ueshiba himself:

The Art of Peace is based on four Great Virtues: Bravery, Wisdom, Love, and Friendship, symbolized by Fire, Heaven, Earth, and Water.

The scroll was commissioned to me by a friend who lives and trains in California, to be hanged at her Aikido Dojo.

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Action Before Words
(Feb 2010)

This was actually done before the previous one, but it was immediately sent to China for mounting and then toured along with other works as part of the 14th International Calligraphy Art and Culture Exhibition in China.

The writing is a so-called 4 letters idiom (四字熟語 or yoji-jyukugo). This is pronounced "fugenjikkō" and is composed by the ideograms for No, Saying and Action.

It may have various meanings, including "action before words", "silent action", "good deeds are not boasted about", but also describes someone who prefers to quietly do what is needed.

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Serenity (SeiOn)
(Aug 2012)

A gift for Serena, a friend from Anobii.

This was executed on a Chinese blank scroll (actual size:
17.5x47.5 cm) so it's not exactly a standard size kakejiku, even if the structure is completely traditional.


  • "Sei" - Quiet, silence, stillness.
  • "On" - means "Calm". Interestingly this is a Kanji which is not derived by a Chinese one but apparently is a purely Japanese creation.

Hospitality (Motenashi)
(
Sep 2012)

Hospitality
A gift for Bogi, twice my host in Budapest (thanks to AirBnb).

Again - non-standard size (
17.5x47.5 cm).

Where

  • "Motsu" - Hold, Have
  • "Naru" - turn into; become; get; grow; elapse; reach
This word is usually written in Kana-only: もてなし but I always try to go for a version which has at least part of the word expressed in Kanji

"Spirit Knot" (Kimosubi)
(Sep 2012)

kimusubi
This was a commissioned work from a fellow student of Aikido.

Kimosubi is a pretty interesting word. Most dictionaries do not report it,
so I made sure I wasn't just writing nonsense, or even worse - something insulting.

According to the experts I tracked down, it is a unique Aikido expression, meaning, roughly: "
the feeling of unity with the teacher, other students, and dojo itself".

Once again, this was executed directly on a pre-mounted scroll (50cmx135cm), which means that I had zero chances to make another attempt in case of failure.

Friend (Houyuu)
(Jul 2013)

Houyuu
A gift for Annette - a friend since 2005, to be given her when we finally meet.

Again - non-standard size (
18 x 48 cm).

Where

  • "HŌ" - Friend, companion
  • "YŪ" - Friend

"Protect" (HOUGO)
(Nov 2013)

Protector
HOUGO (ほうご) 【保護】

care; protection; shelter; safeguard; guardianship; favor; favour; patronage


HO; HŌ (protect; guarantee; keep; preserve; sustain; support)
GO (safeguard; protect)

This was a birthday present for a friend, named Sergio.
The name Sergio comes from Latin noble family name Sergius, and the Gens Sergia lineage comes (according to the legend) from Trojan hero Sergestus.
The name is allegedly of Etruscan origins, but the actual meaning is not certain. Some think that it comes from Latin "servare" which means "to protect", "to act as a custodian".

Heroine (Yufuu)
(March 2014)

Heroine_DxO
A gift for Barbara, who I finally visited in her home in California.

Gyosho style, where

  • "YŪ" - courage;  cheer up;  be in high spirits;  bravery;  heroism
  • "FU" - lady;  woman;  wife;  bride

This specific work had a long gestation period because I wanted to make it "personal", so I had to find a proper model first. And I wanted it to be from a male hand (gender has subtle influences in how calligraphy comes out, and my main teacher is a woman).
In the end (this was sometime in August 2013, actually) I asked
Ponte Ryuurui (品天龍涙) to make a couple of versions so that I had a good example to work from.