History of the “ Byoubu ” (folding screen)
Byoubu (folding screen) has been used as indispensable furniture in Japan since Nara period.
During mid-Heian, Japan's unique paper hinges were used to connect each plane so that a pair of screens can be finished.
At the same time, the technique of knocking gold to extend it thinly and using it for decoration got developed, and gold paper was produced by pressing the gold foil onto paper, which was then used to produce gold folding screen.
It was first used as a large canvas for painters and an interior accessory only for part of the high society in the houses of the nobility, samurai and daimyo, etc., but soon gold screens without pattern were used for celebration and silver folding screens were used for misfortune by ordinary merchants when it came to Edo period, and now it has become something indispensable as the main background of each banquet venue.
Continue to keep the traditions
The usage of folding screen has been changing over more than 1000 years, but the method of producing didn't change since the paper hinges were developed, and the technique and material of it even declined during the most recent decades on the contrary.
Our company “ Taizan-do ” would like to stubbornly defend the old tradition, and our method of production stays almost exactly the same with the traditional method, no matter in the method and the number of times of the base veneer, or in materials.
Production of folding screen in accordance with modern devices
On the other hand, since folding screen may become dry and suffer from deviation when it is used in modern banquet halls with low humidity due to air conditioning, Taizan-do is equipped with a drying room to deal with this problem, which makes us the only one in this business. Such solid quality has made our product known to lots of customers, and our product is widely used in public office buildings, top-ranking hotels, and wedding venues all over the country.
Advantages of Taizan-do in producing folding screens
Delivery record backed up by quality
Founded in Meiji 20 (1887). There are currently only about 4 companies in Japan who are still producing gold folding screens for ceremonies and business.
Taizan-do has a better quality and higher evaluation by our customers when compared with other companies, and its gold folding screen was even delivered to the mansion of the Prime Minister, to the consulates of each country via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and to the Imperial Hotel, Daitokuji Temple and Tohoku University, etc. in the past.
Compatible to various lifestyles
Due to our wide network of contacts, order and production of western-style folding screen is also possible at Otsuka Kagu.
Otsuka Kagu uses curtain fabrics chosen by the customer to produce customer-made western-style folding screen, and its responding to the needs of customers based on their lifestyles has been highly acclaimed.
New proposal to hotel industry
Developed from folding screen business, we have also been accepting orders such as the transoms of hotels, decoration panels in hotel rooms, and other ornaments used in the banquet hall of the hotel recent years, which we are also able to cope with our skills on "pasting" and "assembling" developed during our production of folding screens over years and propose decoration plans and produce in accordance with customers' needs.
Replication operation of cultural property
We have been paying attention to the technique of "digitally preserving" cultural properties including national treasures for long and working on "folding screen production utilizing the replication technique of cultural property" since 2000.
With the establishment of a cooperative company on imaging and printing, we have planned for commercialization in the future.
Inheritance to the next generation and Innovation
Original management different from others
We have investigated the market of folding screens for business use, but only Taizan-do can manage an original production for decoration use, which makes a clear distinction between us and other companies.
Folding screen for directing special scenes
Folding screen has been high-class export furniture pursuing functional beauty since ancient times.
Since it is specialized for the convenience of folding up, it was especially exported to Ming (China) during Muromachi period and stayed active during Nanban trade afterwards, which makes it the forerunner of export furniture.
It can even be said that folding screen has played part of the social role of cultural exchange through trade.
Also, lots of painters and paintings have been fostered due to this decoration culture.
In daily life, folding screen also plays an important role in national rituals as well as people’s life events (occasion of special ceremony), and it stands for the culture of cherish the background of such events and matters of Japanese people.
Push Japanese culture to the world with replication folding screen
Through the replication of folding screen, Taizan-do has realized the transmission of Japanese culture to the next generation and delivered Japanese culture to the world.
The reproduced painting by Taizan-do has not only represented the unique shade, gradation, force of brushwork and stroke of the brush in Japanese painting, but also studied the materials, expression methods, ideas and painting history of the author and the spatial presentation of paintings from a variety of perspectives.
Of course, its quality also aims for the highest peak in Japan as a folding screen manufacturer.
Not only can its products being appreciated as works of art, Taizan-do also thinks it is its "mission" to stick with exact reproducibility to withstand study on art history. In order to make it possible for ordinary people to enjoy the paintings and calligraphies collected by landlords, replicas were created. They also want to reproduce the names and calligraphies drawn by famous monks in a way exactly the same with the originals.
Digital reconstructed painting meets them.
Technology connecting the future
The reproduction technique of Taizan-do makes it possible to print directly on gold foil which is unprecedented and difficult for traditional technique. (*Patent issued)
Now it is able to represent all the existing expression techniques used in Japanese painting including fusuma painting, wall painting, celling painting, painting on the folding screen and hanging scroll, etc.
In order to represent the brilliance of gold and silver through ordinary offset printing, gold and silver inks will be needed to achieve the effect beside the common 4 colors including black and the three-primary colors, yellow, red, and blue, but the brilliance of gold foil pasted on the screen or hand fan cannot be represented through the common method, so woodcut or silk screen has been used for printing on gold foil paper until now.
However, subtle density difference of color cannot be reproduced using this method. After lots of trials and errors, printing on gold foil paper with density differences is finally realized.
With image-reconstruction knowledge cultivated together with cooperative partner, Taizan-do has engaged in technology development using the most cutting-edge technology.
With the enthusiasm and pride of "passing cultural properties on to more people" and "for the sake of next generation", we would like to continue to promote the replica production business in the future.