What do you come up with when you hear “Japanese style”?
Houses made by wood and paper? Pictures and kanjis hanging on Tokonoma?
Hyogu, which is a general term of Fusuma, Byobu, Kakejiku, and frames for pictures, is very important traditional craft to support such cultures.
Since Heian period (794-1185), Kyoto is the center of Japanese culture and art, literature, and religion established here. Hyogu was developed to reinforce drawings and sutra lines drawn or written on paper, and therefore textile was used at that time.
After the drawings and sutra lines gained artistic value, people wanted to see them in frames to protect them and appreciate them. Fusuma and Byobu are used as partitions, but in the first place, their purpose is to hold beautiful pictures and letters.
The technique is said to be brought in from China, following the import of Buddhism. From the end of Muromachi era (1136-1573) to Edo era (1603-1867), Kyo Hyogu craftsmen adopted tones and atmosphere from tea ceremony and developed original style.
Materials are usually paper and fabric. To harden them, repetition of humidification and dehydration is important. In addition to the role of the center of art and senses of beauty people in Kyoto possess, the humid climate of Kyoto helped developing this tradition.
Currently, Kyo Hyogu artisans accept very difficult works of restoration of antiques other than above.
Kyo Hyogu was designated as Traditional Craft by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1997.