Everyone has their own unique name. It’s the most fundamental information used to identify you.
Our experts, Dr. Fujimoto and Dr. Ishii, will divide your name into syllables and apply the appropriate kanji（漢字 Japanese character) to those syllables. We call this process of conversion “Kanjinize”.
Though each kanji character can have many interpretations, we will select characters with appealing and elegant meanings. Names of any length can be converted into kanji, and it is also possible to convert your middle name and nicknames into kanji. We also can use hiragana and katakana, unique Japanese syllabaries, to convert your name if you wish. Why not try to kanjinize your name and see the beauty that can arise?
Perfect for adding personalized name stamp to letters as a grace and distinctive way to impress your correspondence.
In the 5th century CE Japan was a collection of powerful clans and families vying for power. Strife and warfare was common as each clan tried to assert itself as the dominant power on the archipelago. At the end of the 5th century one family, the Yamato clan, became the ruling authority through a mix of politics and mythologizing.
Around this time multiple technologies and ideas were exported to Japan from China by way of the Korean Peninsula, including: ironware, writing, and Buddhism. These were readily adopted by both the Japanese people and used by the Yamato clan to consolidate their power.
Modern researchers think that Chinese characters were applied to the ancient Japanese language both by attaching Japanese words to the kanji and importing the original Chinese pronunciation. Writing allowed the Yamato clan to organize a centralized state and government able to command and instruct local administrative organizations.
In ancient times paper was so rare that people stenciled kanji onto thin, rectangular strips of wood. These wooden boards were used for communication between government offices, tags for goods transported between various countries, and the practice of writing. The oldest written kanji in Japan discovered so far was written in ink on wood as a “wooden note.”
Most commoners could not read or write, and literacy was not widespread until modern times. Noblemen, bureaucrats, priests, samurai, and merchants had a monopoly on the use of kanji characters.
While Western calligraphy primarily utilizes pen and ink, East Asian nations such as China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan use a brush. In Japanese calligraphy, or shodo, desks are not traditionally used, as the practitioner usually sits upon tatami mats.
In contemporary Japan, shodo is a popular class for elementary school and junior high school students. Many parents believe that having their children focus and sit still while practicing calligraphy will be beneficial. In modern times, the keyboard prevails when working on a PC or writing a text, but Japanese society often requires handwritten, autographed letters in some situations. For instance, at wedding receptions, funerals, and New Year’s celebrations it is the usual practice to handwrite your respects.
Many countries and cultures practice the art of skillful and elaborate lettering. The Japanese art of calligraphy is called shodō, and stretches back many centuries and is still widely practiced today. At its basic level, shodō is simply drawing characters on paper with ink using a brush. However, a good calligrapher is able to create an extraordinarily expressive and harmonious art form using only those simple elements
Yukima, our resident calligrapher, will write your name on the hanging scroll. In shodō, skill, discipline, and assurance are required for a steady hand. The brush strokes cannot be corrected, so Yukima must concentrate and carry the brush lightly yet confidently. Her skill is evident in the flowing brush strokes she lays onto the paper.
In Asia, seals (hanko) have historically been used to identify individuals involved in government and trading from ancient times. The Japanese emperors, shoguns and samurais each had their own personal seal pressed onto edicts and other public documents to show authenticity and authority. Even today Japanese citizens' companies regularly use name seals for the signing of a contract and other important paperwork.
At Les Ateliers de Japon, the traditional meets the modern when we make your customized name seal. The calligraphy on the scroll is scanned and converted into a BMP image, which is then carved your kanji name onto the seal using a laser engraver.
The personal name seal is made of square shaped stone with 50mm x 50mm x 50mm dimensions.
The name seal is placed into a box of paulownia wood produced locally by craftsmen in the Kansai area and packaged carefully. We enclose vermillion ink and an ink pad as well.
The hanging scroll (kakejiku) is usually calligraphy or a decorative painting which should be hung upon a wall. Originally introduced to Japan from China as a means of spreading Buddhism, it has found a place in Japanese culture and art and plays an important role in interior decoration.
It’s an excellent way to exhibit the beautiful calligraphy of your name and admire traditional Japanese art that has personal meaning.