Artwork Panel: 32cm x 67.8cm ≈ 12½" x 26¾"
Silk/Brocade: 41cm x 129cm ≈ 16" x 50¾"
Width at Wooden Knobs: 50cm ≈ 19¾"
Close up view of the artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll
This version of the Bushido title is written in "Official Script" or "Clerical Script" style characters, known as Reisho in Japanese and Lishu in Chinese. This character style dates back to before 300 BC in China and was one of the early written schemes brought to Japan in the 5th century AD, at a time when the Japanese language had no written form.
This artwork was painted on very special handmade "grass-leather paper". It has fibers and husks purposely pressed into the finished paper. The paper is quite expensive compared to typical Asian art papers, but the results are worth it.
This artwork was created on handmade "grass leather paper" or "皮草紙". Sometimes this is called "natural color dragon cloud" paper or "本色雲龍" in Chinese and Japanese.
After master calligrapher Cao Bin wrote 武士道 on this very unique paper, I had it mounted in my signature style which is a combination of ivory and copper colored silk with accent lines. This makes a beautiful presentation that goes with just about any decor.
See our Bushido Way of the Samurai page for more custom Japanese Kanji calligraphy options related to Bushido concepts.
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.