Genre: vertical diptych (kakemono-e - 掛物絵)

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A kakemono (掛物 "hanging thing"), 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.*

[*Not everyone at the Lyon Collection agrees with the use of and reliability of Wikipedia as a source. For example, kakemono and kakejiku should both be translated as a "hanging scroll". It can be translated as a "hanging thing", but that is not generally the way it is done.]

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 it is longer than it wide, it is called a vertical work (竪物 tatemono?) or Standing Scroll (立軸 tatejiku?)(needs verification); if it is wider than it is long, it is called a horizontal work (横物 yokomono?) or horizontal scroll (横軸 yokojiku?).

The "Maruhyōsō" 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 maruhyōsō 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 because 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.

The above information was taken directly from Wikipedia.


"Early ukiyo-e printmakers made large vertical prints by cutting a sheet of paper in half and attaching the two pieces end to end. This format was known as kakemono-e because its proportions resembled those of hanging scrolls (kakemono), designed to fit within architectural alcoves (tokonoma). Since hanging scrolls were mounted with borders of sumptuous brocades, kakemono-e, too, were often embellished with decorative, but less expensive, paper mountings. In the late eighteenth century, Torii Kiyonaga was the first artist to join two pieces of ōban paper together to create a similarly attenuated format (roughly 78 x 26 cm.). Though far less popular than single-sheet ōban prints or horizontal diptychs and triptychs, kakemono-e remained a standard format for ukiyo-e production."

Quoted from: Worldly Pleasures, Earthly Delights: Japanese Prints from the Minneapolis Institute of Art, text by Yōsuke Katō, p. 320.