FAQ(Frequently Asked Questions)

What hanging scrolls need restoration?
If the main body of the art work is damaged by peeling-off paint, tears, dirt or stain, it requires repair. Also if the border (fabric or paper) is torn or dirty, this too can be restored. Even one small tear could expand to create more serious damage if left for too long. If you are worried about your piece, please consult with us. We can tell if your hanging scroll needs restoration or not by virtue of our longtime experience. Generally people say that a hanging scroll that is more than 50 years old needs some kind of restoration work but it depends on the manner in which it has been kept.
How long does restoration work take?
There are some simple restorations than can be done in one day and some very difficult projects that take a long time. It all depends on the condition of each piece. In all cases, a hanging scroll will require remounting. Remounting takes at least one month, so a difficult restoration might take about three months.
If it is a very difficult case, we will consult with you beforehand.
How much does it cost to make a hanging scroll or a picture frame?
If it's a hanging scroll, design and material is often automatically decided depending on the theme or the purpose of the paintings or calligraphic work.
For example Buddhist paintings are suppose to be mounted in the Buddhist style which uses gold brocade, damask or a similar kind of fabric. Scrolls for tea ceremony, like calligraphy by Zen priests, should be mounted with a combination of lighter fabric or paper. It is easier to estimate the cost for works such as these. But other scrolls, such as those intended for seasonal enjoyment, could be mounted with many different kinds of fabric, depending on the piece. It's difficult to estimate the cost of such a work without looking at the piece, whether it is to be mounted as a hanging scroll or in a picture frame.
Can I order a mounting work within the certain budget?
We cannot make changes regarding labor costs and the cost of basic materials for mounting but there are options for choices of fabric for the borders and end-knobs or the outside frame. We can make suggestions depends on your budget.
Can you restore just the main body of the work and keep the old mounting?
That is the traditional technique called "Subame" or "Suzukai" . However, since it needs advanced skill and longer time, we want to take a look your piece first.
Can I use my own fabric?
Of course you can. But if there is a problem regarding the material type, its thickness or weaving, sometimes we can't use it. And also it has to be matched with other parts of border.
What are the strong points of Kitaoka- Gihodo?
As for the technique, we are proud of our thorough work, the flexibility of the finish product, and our good taste in combining fabric or frames. We have self-confidence about our technique and our sense, brought up as we were in Kyoto where the traditional mounting has been developed for long time.
Please look at our website for our studio and head conservator Hideyoshi Kitaoka.

"Kitaoka-Gihodo" in Nagoya is our family branch. They have been in the business of buying and selling paintings, art objects, tea tools and antiques for more than 50 years. Please feel free to consult with them about evaluating your art pieces or future sales after the restoration or mounting. Here is their website.
What should I pay attention to when I hang or handle hanging scrolls?
Here is some general information.
For the place to hang, choose a dry place without air conditioning breeze or direct sunlight.
As for handling...
• Choose a dry place
• Use clean hands and handle carefully
• Especially be careful not to make any crease (crease always need restoration)
• Don't roll up the scroll too tight, but neither should it be too loose. It should not be tied too hard.
While it is hanging, don't leave it hanging for too long. It occasionally needs to be rolled up and stored in a box.
How should I store hanging scrolls?
It would be best to store in the right size Kiri (paulownia) or acid free paper boxes.
Then you can put them in storage where there is less humidity.
When you put them away...
• Choose a sunny and less humid day
• Brush off some dust on the surface of scrolls with a soft brush
• Do not roll up overly tight, it should be firm but still a bit loose, and tied loosely with the string.
While you store them...
• Take out and roll them out on a sunny dry day, once in Spring and once in Fall.
Are there any chances to see "Kyo-Hyogu (Kyoto style scroll / screen mounting)"?
In Kyoto we have an exhibition called "Hyo-Ten" organized by Kyoto Hyoso Kyokai (“Kyoto Mounters Society”) the the Kyoto Bunka Hakubutsukan (The Museum of Kyoto) during three days, from the first Friday to Sunday of December every year. In Tokyo, at Tokyo Bijutsu Kurabu
"Kyo-Hyogu-Ten" is exhibited by Kyo-Hyogu Kyodo Kumiai Rengokai (“Joint Exhibition of the Kyoto Mounters Associated Organization”). Each exhibition has commentary tours by authorized traditional craftsmen and active Kyoto mounters are there to answer the questions and consult with visitors. (Both exhibition are free to public).
How can I learn to be a traditional mounter?
Apprenticeship under a master is traditionally the best training to become a craftsman. In the Japanese traditional industry scroll mounters are not short of successors but it would be better to have more people working hard together to inherit the high quality of this technique, which has long history. Kyoto in particular would be a fine place to learn the craft of mounting. Please find a mounted piece you like and talk with the mounter who made it. We recommend you to visit and ask.