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  Shikishi Blog  

Shikishi (色紙) is the name given to a paper-covered fiber board used by Japanese calligraphers and artists. It is relatively small in size and almost square (i.e., typically 245 x 275 mm) with a border resembling gold leaf. The first shikishi boards, made in the 12th century, were used exclusively by calligraphers for poetic verses which were intended to complement the painted screen or sliding-door panel to which the shikishi was attached.  Later, shikishi began to be used for artwork as well as calligraphy and were no longer attached to screens or sliding-door panels. Today both painters and printmakers use shikishi boards for their art. The Reader Collection of Japanese Flower-and-Bird Art includes a number of 20th century shikishi. Two examples are shown below, the first a painting and the second a screenprint.

  Shikishi examples  

To see more shikishi from the Reader Collection click here.


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