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Japanese Scrolls

Japanese scrolls traditionally come in two forms: hanging scrolls and hand scrolls. Hanging scrolls, also called kakemono or kakejiku, are usually made of paper or silk mounted on another layer of silk or other fabric that is temporarily hung for display, revealing the entirety of the scroll and its contents. Hand scrolls are made entirely of paper or silk and are only viewed in small sections at a time starting from the right side into the left.

The Japanese hanging scroll consists of four standard parts that represent heaven, earth, and two pillars in between. The top section above the mounted image of kakejiku is considered heaven, the bottom is earth, and the sides are the pillar supports. Traditionally, the top portion is larger than the bottom.

The hand scroll, or emaki, is most suited for illustrating a narrative. These scrolls were painted with both intricate images and beautiful calligraphy. While these scrolls were originally introduced to Japan through Buddhism, secular hand scrolls such as the "Tale of Genji" and "Siege of Sanjo Palace" became important documentations of time and demonstrations of groundbreaking perspective and painting.


Quick Facts

  • Within hand scrolls, text describing a narrative most commonly precedes the image. However, calligraphy can often be broken up between images or chapters
  • Hanging scrolls were not meant to be hung up on the wall permanently. Instead, these scrolls were made to be swapped out depending on occasion and stored away if not displayed for a guest
  • During World War II, hanging scrolls, particularly those featuring beautiful Japanese women in kimonos, were mass produced and cheap to purchase. However, few works have been produced since the war, making hanging scrolls rare. Still, antique hanging scrolls are often affordable at auction

Recommended Items at Auction

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A painted Japanese scroll made of 12 cm wide fabric
Oct 31, 8:00 PM EET
A painted Japanese scroll made of 12 cm wide fabric
by Village Gallery Israel
Est: $45- $90
$300 Bids
Japanese scroll, Meiji period size 60 * 150 cm
Oct 31, 8:00 PM EET
Japanese scroll, Meiji period size 60 * 150 cm
by Village Gallery Israel
Est: $45- $90
$300 Bids
Japanese scroll, Edo period, manchukuo / ryokan scene size 50 * 120
Oct 31, 8:00 PM EET
Japanese scroll, Edo period, manchukuo / ryokan scene size 50 * 120
by Village Gallery Israel
Est: $660- $1,320
$4400 Bids
Japanese scroll Meiji period, signed, description of nature, size 185 * 47
Oct 31, 8:00 PM EET
Japanese scroll Meiji period, signed, description of nature, size 185 * 47
by Village Gallery Israel
Est: $720- $1,440
$4800 Bids
Birds & Flowers Silk Scroll by Yu Xing
Nov 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Birds & Flowers Silk Scroll by Yu Xing
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$2,5000 Bids
Lady Silk Scroll by Jin Yanbiao
Nov 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Lady Silk Scroll by Jin Yanbiao
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $2,400- $3,100
$1,5000 Bids
Party Silk Scroll by Qiu Ying
Nov 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Party Silk Scroll by Qiu Ying
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $2,300- $3,000
$1,5000 Bids
Party silk scroll by You Qiu
Nov 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Party silk scroll by You Qiu
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $4,000- $5,000
$3,2000 Bids
Mountainous Landscape Paper Scroll by Xiao Yuncong
Nov 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Mountainous Landscape Paper Scroll by Xiao Yuncong
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $2,300- $3,000
$1,5000 Bids
Eight immortals silk scroll by Wu Bing
Nov 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Eight immortals silk scroll by Wu Bing
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $3,700- $4,500
$1,9000 Bids
Story silk scroll by Qiu Ying
Nov 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Story silk scroll by Qiu Ying
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $2,600- $3,300
$1,8000 Bids
Birds flowers paper scroll by Lang Shining and Leng Mei
Nov 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Birds flowers paper scroll by Lang Shining and Leng Mei
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $2,200- $3,000
$1,5000 Bids
Funny cats paper scroll by Wang Xuetao and Cao Kejia
Nov 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Funny cats paper scroll by Wang Xuetao and Cao Kejia
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$8000 Bids
A VERY LONG HORIZONTAL SCROLL IN TOSA SCHOOL MANNER
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
A VERY LONG HORIZONTAL SCROLL IN TOSA SCHOOL MANNER
by Nagel Auction
Est: €900- €1,500
€9000 Bids
TWO HANGING SCROLLS WITH TEKKAI SENNIN AND HOTEI
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
TWO HANGING SCROLLS WITH TEKKAI SENNIN AND HOTEI
by Nagel Auction
Est: €200- €300
€2000 Bids
TWO HANGING SCROLLS
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
TWO HANGING SCROLLS
by Nagel Auction
Est: €400- €500
€4000 Bids
A HANGING SCROLL OF A TIGER UNDER A FULL MOON BY OHASHI SUISEKI (1865-1945),
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
A HANGING SCROLL OF A TIGER UNDER A FULL MOON BY OHASHI SUISEKI (1865-1945),
by Nagel Auction
Est: €900- €1,500
€9000 Bids
THREE HANGING SCROLLS WITH SAMURAI AND A PAIR OF PHEASANTS
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
THREE HANGING SCROLLS WITH SAMURAI AND A PAIR OF PHEASANTS
by Nagel Auction
Est: €400- €600
€4000 Bids
A HANGING SCROLL WITH A PAGODA IN A MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
A HANGING SCROLL WITH A PAGODA IN A MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE
by Nagel Auction
Est: €900- €1,500
€9000 Bids
UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861) AND OTHER UTAGAWA SCHOOL ARTISTS
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861) AND OTHER UTAGAWA SCHOOL ARTISTS
by Nagel Auction
Est: €600- €800
€6000 Bids
IN DER ART VON KATSUKAWA SHUNCHÔ
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
IN DER ART VON KATSUKAWA SHUNCHÔ
by Nagel Auction
Est: €100- €150
€1000 Bids
SUZUKI HARUNOBU
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
SUZUKI HARUNOBU
by Nagel Auction
Est: €350- €450
€3300 Bids
SUZUKI KASON
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
SUZUKI KASON
by Nagel Auction
Est: €400- €600
€4000 Bids
IN THE STYLE OF TANI BUNCHÔ (1763-1840)
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
IN THE STYLE OF TANI BUNCHÔ (1763-1840)
by Nagel Auction
Est: €80- €120
€800 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Scrolls


Nagel Auction

Nagel Auction

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Bonhams

Bonhams

Stallion Hill Gallery

Stallion Hill Gallery