Artwork Panel: 31.2cm x 86.5cm ≈ 12¼" x 34"
Silk/Brocade: 40.2cm x 148.5cm ≈ 15¾" x 58½"
Width at Wooden Knobs: 49.2cm ≈ 19¼"
Close up view of the artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll
This wall scroll features my "signature style" with ivory panels and a copper brocade inner frame. Accent lines are added to the top and bottom to put the final touches on the presentation. Offered here at a special price (about $10 less than if you ordered it custom).
The style is "seal script" which is known as "tensho" or 篆書 in Japanese. This character style dates back to some time before 221 BC. This was before Japan even started to use Chinese characters. This makes it a very unique and old style Aikido title.
Aikido is often referred to as the defensive martial art. While aikido was born in Japan, it has become a somewhat famous form of defensive tactics taught to soldiers and Marines, as well as some law enforcement officers in the west.
Looking at the Kanji, the first means "union" or "harmony".
The second Kanji means "universal energy" or "spirit".
The third means "way" or "method".
Please note that while these Japanese Kanji characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.
Note: It is somewhat accepted that this is the origin of Hapkido in Korea. And other than a modern simplification to the middle Kanji of this 3-Kanji word, it is written the same in Korean Hanja.
See our Aikido custom Japanese Kanji wall scrolls page for more custom Japanese Kanji calligraphy options.
I met Cao Bin years ago, and long before his fame. At that time, his wife was running a small house cleaning business. One day she was tidying up my mother-in-law's home in Beijing and overheard that I am in the business of selling Chinese calligraphy and artwork. She asked if I'd like to meet her husband who was a pretty good calligrapher as she described him with modesty.
The next evening, I visited his modest studio and saw some really nice calligraphy and great black ink bamboo paintings that he'd just finished. After a lot of tea drinking and chatting, I asked if I could commission a few pieces.
Through the years, I would occasionally buy a few more pieces, not realizing how famous he had become. I might pop by his studio, only to hear from his wife that he was down in Anhui receiving an award for his calligraphy (calligraphy competitions are comparable to the fervor that sports championships have in the rest of the world). It finally dawned on me that this man I had known for about 7 years was a premier calligrapher for whom books had been published featuring his work, and the recipient of numerous awards.
The best part is that I have guanxi (a word that kind of means "special relationship" in Chinese), he gives me better prices than anyone else. This really fits well with my philosophy to offer high quality Asian artwork that everyone can afford.
When I first met him, Cao Bin had a shaved head like a Buddhist monk. Years later, he has traded in that look for the ponytail that is expected of the eccentric Chinese artist
A frenzy of people watch Cao Bin create his calligraphy during a special event
Cao Bin at his studio
Full view of Cao Bin's calligraphy studio
This is painted on xuan paper (often incorrectly called "rice paper"). The raw artwork was then taken to my workshop in east Beijing where the master mounter built it into a handmade wall scroll.