signature seal (hanko) impression for KURI-SU CHRIS'S JAPAN PAGE title bar amulet for one born in a Monkey year, from Tadou Taisha shrine, Mie Prefecture

Seal Books

the Touji seal book opened (front cover to right) Below are displayed the back and front covers of the books (shuinchou) in which the temple and shrine calligraphy pieces of the year "albums" were collected;.

The photo at top left is the Touji book opened to show the structure of the "folded books" (shouhon). Paper is pleated to create pages, and the end-pages are pasted to the front and back boards. The front of the book is the right-hand board.
 
Since the paper is doubled, both sides of a page can be used for inscriptions. Only very heavy inking creates the danger of soaking through to the opposite side. On the other hand, facing pages will bleed onto one another unless a slip of paper is inserted in between. For this purpose a temple or shrine will provide either a piece of rice paper, a printed information sheet, or a piece of a telephone book page cut to size. Sometimes the insert is in the form of an information sheet about the institution. A common insert is an essay entitled "About goshuin ." See a translation on the calligraphy Introduction page.
 
I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Mrs. Andou, who gave me the first of the seal books shown below. Her family in Kamakura have long treasured their library of calligraphy, which extends back many years, and their interest in it remains fresh. The haiku at the bottom of the calligraphy Introduction page alludes to them and to other friends who helped me gather these leaves, as well as to the people who wrote them.

The Seal Book Collection
Seal
book
Where acquired Description Year used
1995 seal book: Sensouji Sensouji: Toukyou, Taitou Ku, Asakusa size: 12 x 18 cm   
pages (per side): 29
1995
1995 seal book: Sensouji Yasukuni Jinja: Toukyou, Chiyoda Ku, Kudan Kita size: 11 x 16 cm   
pages (per side): 23
1995
1996 seal book: Tagata Tagata Jinja: Aichi Ken, Inuyama size: 11 x 16 cm   
pages (per side): 23
The image of the front cover of the book is shown here partially blocked.
1996
1996 seal book: Ise Gaigu Ise Jinguu, Gaiguu: Mie Ken, Ise size: 11 x 16 cm   
pages (per side): 17
7 pages are printed: an overall essay about the shrine plus 6 drawings and descriptions of the sub-shrines. The front pages are formatted for easy insertion of the date numbers.
1996
1997 seal book: Touji Touji: Kyouto, Minami Ku size: 11 x 16 cm   
pages (per side): 29
1997
1998 seal book: Sensouji Sensouji: Toukyou, Taitou Ku, Asakusa size: 12 x 18 cm   
pages (per side): 25
Page 1 is a printed title page.
1998
2001 seal book: Shitennouji Shitennouji: Ousaka,Tennouji Ku size: 12 x 18 cm   
pages (per side): 39
2001
2003-04 seal book: Meiji Jinguu Meiji Jinguu: Toukyou, Shibuya Ku size: 11 x 16 cm   
pages (per side): 23
2003-2004
2007 seal book: Yakushiji, Nara Yakushiji: Nara city, Nara Ken size: 12 x 18 cm   
pages (per side): 39
2007
2007 seal book: Kumano Honguu Kumano Honguu Taisha: Tanabe Shi, Wakayama Ken size: 11 x 16 cm   
pages (per side): 23
2007
2010 seal book: Kushida Kushida Jinja: Hakata Ku, Fukuoka size: 12 x 18 cm   
pages (per side): 39
2010

Copyright © 2002-2011 C.J. Brunner TOP: Moonlight ride: detail, sketch by Hiroshige (1797-1858) CLOSE: Descending the Kiso River: detail, sketch by Hiroshige (1797-1858) Comments or questions? Contact:
Kurisu