表具Hyogu - the art of mounting

表具とは、巻物や掛軸、屏風や襖、障子、壁装など布や紙を張ることによって仕立てられたもの、および修復までを含む総称です。その歴史は古代中国に書や絵を経年の傷みや虫食いから保護し、装飾したことにはじまり、仏教伝来とともに経巻を表装する技術として渡来したといわれます。その後、巻物や掛軸は絵物語や茶の湯の文化に伴って日本独自の発展を遂げ、屏風や襖は日本の気候風土に適した建具として重宝されてきました。なかでもお寺が多く、お茶の文化が根付く京都は国内で最も表具が盛んな地域。その技術の確かさ、仕上がりの雅さにおいて定評のある「京表具」は国の指定する伝統的工芸品と認められています。

京都の古い町並みが残る紫竹牛若町にある京表具・井上光薫堂さんの工房を訪ね、三代目伝統工芸士の井上利彦さんに作業の様子を見せていただきました。「屏風や襖の内側を開くと、木の骨格(ほね)に和紙が幾重にも貼り重ねてあります。まず骨格が経年で扁平するのを抑えるために濃い糊で強い和紙を張る“骨縛り(ほねしばり)”。その上に光が透けるのを防ぐ“胴張り(どうばり)”。幅違いの紙を三辺だけ糊付けして下から空気が入るようにして三重に張った“蓑掛け(みのがけ)”。さらに“蓑押さえ(みのおさえ)”を張って下地が完成します。仕上げまで8回、9回張ります」。

唐紙や絵で美しく仕上げられた外側からは想像もつかない反故紙(ほごし)の層は、当時の暮らしぶりを伝える貴重な資料でもあります。「何が書いてあるんかな、と思わず修理の手を止めて読んでしまいます。調べるのが好きで、出てきた古地図を辿って旅もしました。木枠に表具師の名前を見つけたこともあります。会うたこともない大先輩の仕事に出会うと、この仕事に負けんようにという気持ちになりますね。タイムカプセルやね。僕も100年後の後輩に向けてメッセージを残しとかな」。大学の講師として授業をすることもあり、改めて表具の意味を考えるようになったそう。「和紙が空気を吸ったり吐いたりして湿気を調整してカビや虫食いから守ってはったんやろね。高温多湿で蒸し暑いさかい開け放つこと考えて。島国やから突然敵が攻めてくることもない、それより怖いものがあったんちがうかな。見えないものに対しての、結界もそうですけど。一枚仕切りを置くだけで季節感を出したり神聖な場をつくれるのは、日本ならではのものですね」。

いまでは海外からの注文が2割に増え、また、環境に負荷をかけずに末永く使える表具は、世界で通用するハイテク技術だと井上さんは言います。伝統的な日本家屋が減りゆくなか、表具をもっと身近に馴染みやすいものにと、折り畳み式の屏風「いまどこ」や瞑想空間「ほたるかご」など、時代に即した新しい作品づくりにも力を入れています。

– 写真説明 –

– 写真説明 –

[Ⅰ]刷毛で手際よく下地を張り整える。透けて見える反故紙(古文書や大福帳などの不要になった紙)は、紙が貴重な時代の無駄を出さない工夫。いまではなかなか手に入らず、古道具屋さんで見つけることも。
[Ⅱ]高さの違う3枚の反故紙を三層に重ねる「蓑掛け」の工程。
[Ⅲ]光による透けを防ぐ「胴張り」の工程。
[Ⅳ]竹屋町金襴(たけやまちきんらん)は京都竹屋町で生まれた絹に金糸を施した薄い織物で、掛軸の装飾にかかせない代表的な表具裂。
[Ⅴ]屏風の内側を開いたら富くじの層が。昔はお寺で富くじを売っていた。

Hyogu is a general term that includes scrolls, hanging scrolls, folding screens, Fusuma (sliding doors), Shoji (paper sliding doors), and other items such as walls mounted by cloth or paper, as well as their restoration. Its history dates back to ancient China, where Hyogu was used to decorate and protect calligraphy and paintings from age-related damage and moth infestation. Hyogu is believed to have been introduced to Japan with the arrival of Buddhism, as a technique to mount sutra scrolls. Later, regular- and hanging scrolls developed in Japan along with picture stories and the culture of the tea ceremony, while folding screens and sliding doors were valued as fittings suited to the Japanese climate. Kyoto, with its many temples and tea ceremony culture, is one of the most popular areas for Hyogu in Japan. Kyo-hyogu (Hyogu made in Kyoto) has a reputation for the reliability of its techniques and the elegance of its finish, and is recognised as a traditional craft designated by the national government.

We visited the workshop of Kyo-hyogu Inoue Koukundo in Shichikuushiwaka-cho, where the good old Kyoto still remains, and asked Toshihiko Inoue, the third generation of traditional craftspeople, to show us their working process. He said “When you open the inside of a folding screen or a sliding door, you will find a wooden frame covered with layers of Washi paper. The first step is “Hone-shibari”, which is binding the frame with strong Washi paper using thick glue to prevent the frame from flattening over time. The second is the “Do-bari” process, which prevents light from penetrating the paper. The third is “Mino-gake”, a triple-layered covering of paper of different widths, glued on three sides to allow air to enter from below. The base will be then completed by mounting “Mino-osae” in the end. There are eight or nine stages of mounting before it is finished.”

The layers of scrap paper, unimaginable from the outside yet beautifully finished with Chinese paper and pictures, are a valuable source of information about life in those days. “Sometimes I can’t help but stop working to read it, wondering what it says. I like exploring, and I have once travelled through the old map I have found. I have even found the name of a Hyogu craftsperson on an old wooden frame. When I come across the work of a previous craftsperson I have never met, I feel like I am trying to beat them at their job. It is like a time capsule. I should also leave a message for my juniors 100 years from now.” laughs Mr Inoue. He sometimes gives classes at universities, which has made him rethink the meaning of Hyogu. He continues, “Washi paper must have inhaled and exhaled air to regulate humidity and protected against mould and insects. It is hot and humid, so artisans must have known the possibility that people will open doors up completely. Being an island nation, people didn’t have to worry about sudden enemy attacks, but they must have had something to fear. It is the same with warding off the unseen, but it is only in Japan that you can create a sense of the seasons and a sacred place with just one partition.”

Today, the number of orders from overseas has increased to 20%, and Mr Inoue says that Hyogu is a world-class high-tech skill that can continue over a long time without impacting on the environment. With the decline in the number of traditional Japanese houses, he has been working on new products relevant to modern life such as the “Ima-doko” folding screen and the “Hotaru-kago” meditation space.

 

– photo explanation –

[Ⅰ]The base is prepared with a brush. The use of transparent scrap paper (old documents or account books) is an ingenious way of avoiding waste in an age when paper was precious. It is hard to find nowadays, but can be found in antique stores.
[Ⅱ]The process of “Mino-gake”, which is the layering of three pieces of scrap paper of different widths.
[Ⅲ]The process of “Do-bari”, which prevents light from shining through.
[Ⅳ]Takeya-machi kinran (gold brocade) is a thin woven fabric made of silk from Kyoto’s Takeya-machi and gold thread. It has been a typical material for Hyogu, and is fundamental for decorating hanging scrolls.
[Ⅴ]A layer of lottery tickets revealed from the inside of the folding screen. In the olden days, lottery tickets were sold at temples.

 

photo by Tomoko Hayashi

「いまどこ」
“Ima-doko” folding screenSize:H240×W240×D9mm
Material:wood, silk (Nando green), Kadoide Washi paper

JPY ¥28,000

京表具 井上光薫堂 Kyo-hyogu Inoue Koukundo

〒603-8207 京都府京都市北区紫竹牛若町5 5 Shichikuushiwaka-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8207 JAPAN

075-491-3520

Website: http://koukundo.com/

E-mail: koukundo@gmail.com