Calligraphy on Paulownia wood - Makoto -「誠」- Honesty
Material: Ink on Japanese Kiri (Paulownia)
Size : 35 cm x 35 cm x 1.8 cm
The samurai believed makoto, or honesty, to be the most honorable value. It was considered to be a manifestation of the five Confucian virtues combined (benevolence, righteousness, knowledge, sincerity, and propriety).
In The Doctrine of the Mean (Zhongyong), one of the Four Books of classical Chinese philosophy, makoto is described as follows: "Makoto is the ultimate way sought by God, the creator of everything in heaven and earth. It is a path that one should aspire to pursue. A saint who epitomizes Makoto is one who reaches a goal without effort or hesitation, free and calmly, in accordance with the Way. Makoto is vast and profound, and its reach stretches far into the future."
Makoto was defined by Saigo Takamori (1828-1877) as "following the right path in everything, big or small. Never devise intricate schemes: many people do so when things go wrong, but success based on plotting is temporary and fades away quickly. Following the Way may appear to be a detour at times, but it is always the shortest route to success."
About Kiri (paulownia):
Kiri, known in the West as paulownia, or sometimes princess tree, is a lightweight wood that has a distinctive silky surface. It offers a beautiful contrast with black ink.
Kiri were once sacred trees in China, because people believed that phoenixes only perched on their branches. Due to these revered origins, the Japanese imperial family adopted the Kiri flower as one of its emblems towards the end of the first millennium.
In Japan, it was also customary to plant a paulownia when a girl was born. Later, when the daughter married, the tree would be cut down and transformed into a dresser for her kimonos.
Nowadays, Kiri wood is often used to craft furniture, musical instruments, or gift box.
This calligraphy features a set of metallic hooks and wire for hanging. These can be easily removed and replaced with your own system or frame if you wish to do so.
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