History of Hanging Scroll

表具Hyogu (scroll mount) has a long history and it is deep connected with Buddhism. It is said Japanese style Hyogu originated from imitation of sutras and Buddhism paintings from Sui Dynasty (581-618) and Tang Dynasty (618-907). At that time, Kyoji (経師), an experts of sutra scroll maker played an important role.

The job title Hyogushi (表具師) , scroll mounter, first appeared in some documents after Momoyama period (Later 16th Century) . It indicates the culture of scroll mount was spread to general people to set off paintings or drawings by mounting. The major turning point of Hyogu was during the era when Rikyu, a master of tea ceremony played an active role (Later 16th Century). The concept of Chagake, a hanging scroll at a tea ceremony, was born this period. Chagake, in the first place, should have wabi (taste for the simple and quiet) sabi (subdued refinement) style. Secondary, it should have sense of seasons. Thirdly, it should have elements of Zen spirit. Lastly, its origin and history should be clear. Hanging scroll has a long history. To make hanging scrolls of paintings or drawings on papers or silks mean understand true natures of them. For example, there are hanging scrolls called “gobutsu (imperial properties)”. They are made by using famed fabrics, expensive roller knobs with descriptions or notes of authenticity on boxes, stored with great care up to the present time.

Style of Hanging Scroll

There are 8 types in hanging scrolls 真(Shin, the most strictly formal) 行(Gyo, semi-formal) 草(Sou, casual) and these three kinds are divided into further three categories respectively, according to the degree of formalities.

  • 裱褙(真・行・草の三体)

  • 幢褙(真・行・草の三体)

  • 輪褙(行・草の二体)

  • 裱褙(真・行・草の三体)
  • 幢褙(真・行・草の三体)
  • 輪褙(行・草の二体)




・FUKURO HYO-GU袋表具(丸表具)


Shin no Shin…Used for Drawings or Portraits of Emperors Shin no Gyo, Shin no Sou… Those are also called Buddhism style scrolls. Used for Buddhist Paintings, Drawings, Portraits of Zen monk, Mandala etc.

This style is commonly used. It is also called Sandan Hyoso (Three stage mouting) or Zashiki Hyogu (Hanging scroll for Japanese style room). Used for Japanese paintings, Japanese calligraphies etc.

It is also called Chagake Hyogu (Hanging scroll for tea seremony).

About Honshi (Media)

Honshi means Main Objects such as paintings or drawings. Vertically long objects called 縦物 (Tatemono), laterally long objects called横物 (Yokomono). Small size objects such as 色紙 (Shikishi, a square paper prepared for writing poetry), 短冊 (Tanzaku, a rectangular shaped short strip of paper) are mounted on appropriate size papers and make them to hanging scrolls. Materials for Honshi are usually white satins, silks and papers. Sometimes Artists who have playful mind and particular about materials used unique cloths such as abaca cloths or arrowroot cloths.


絖 (Nume) is a kind of satin. Pure white and has shine surface. It is used for calligraphies or Southern Song Dynasty style paintings.


Made by silk. It is weaved for painting, also called 画絹 (Eginu) .


Based on Janpanese paper and Chinese paper