Minato alacarte

Traditional Craftmen in Minato City

Yoshio Itoh

Edo mounting Ito Yoshio

His beautiful work follows unchanging traditions.

It is said that the original technique of mounting was brought to Japan from China by the members of official missions to China during the Tang dynasty. The artisans were popularly called Kyo-shi, or sutra men, because their work was mostly centered on mounting Buddhist sutras and paintings. As time passed, they also applied their techniques to hanging scrolls, screens, sliding doors, scrolls and art frames. Hence they came to be called Hyogu-shi or mounters.


Process of mounting hanging scrolls

  1. Confirm order
    Determine the style (length and color for the cover of the scroll) that best suits the object (painting or calligraphy) to be mounted.
  2. Choose the pieces of fabric
    Determine the style (length and color for the cover of the scroll) that best suits the object (painting or calligraphy) to be mounted.
  3. Shrink cloth in water
    Soak the chosen pieces of cloth in water overnight until they shrink and stabilize.
  4. Apply backing paper
    Apply backing paper to the pieces of cloth when they have dried completely after step 3. Also apply backing paper to the object. Repeat this process, applying a second layer of backing paper to the pieces of cloth and the object to further stabilize them.
  5. Let dry
    Spread pieces of cloth and object on a board after step 4 and let dry for about one month.
  6. Connect pieces of cloth and object; then, apply backing paper
    Connect the pieces of cloth and object after flattening them to uniform thickness. Apply backing paper to connected pieces of cloth and object.
  7. Trim and strengthen edges
    Cut the right and left ends of the scroll to the predetermined width. Turn the edges and paste the back on using thin paper strips that will be removed once the edges are finished.
  8. Apply backing paper and let both, the face and back of the scroll, dry
    Apply backing paper to the parts of the scroll that are fragile when it is rolled up and let it dry for about one month on a board, turning it over periodically.
  9. Finish
    Attach the bottom crossbar, the top crossbar (Haso), a pair of cloth strips (futai) and a hanging cord to the scroll.

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