The one good reason I can come up with for wanting to live longer is to have time, more time to discover all the amazing artists in the world. Ippitsuryu. Did you know about this? I didn’t, and I haven’t managed to pick my jaw up just yet. Truly amazing technique, unique. And so beyond impressive, I don’t have words, I’m right back to being speechless. Ippitsuryu, the art of painting single stroke dragons. Look at this:
WOW, right? I could watch that 10 more times a least, and probably will. It’s like watching magic happen.
In Japan’s Nikko region there exists an artistic tradition known as ippitsuryu: ippitsu (sometimes called hitofude) meaning single-stroke and ryu meaning dragon. It’s a technique, passed down from generation to generation and kept tightly in the family, of creating the flowing, river-like body of the dragon in just a single stroke.
The artist will typically begin by creating a detailed depiction of the head. Once that is completed the artist moves on to the single-stroke-body. Here, the large brush slowly traverses the canvas, making gentle twists and turns, never once being lifted up until the body is complete. Later, the artist goes back and adds details like whiskers and claws.
The current proprietor to the tradition is claimed by Fumiko Takase, the 3rd in the Takase Family. The tradition is carried on by her siblings and she is also training her son. The tradition, however, is not without controversy. Just steps from Takase’s shop and studio in Nikko is another family, the Kousyu Family, who also practices the same tradition.
According to the Takase Family, a member of the Kousyu Family stole the technique several years ago and then opened up shop claiming to be legitimate proprietors. The Takase Family has a detailed account on their website as to how the technique was stolen. They also have a family tree showing the descendants. The Kousyu Family has no mention of this on their website.
There’s much more at Spoon & Tamago. Who doesn’t love amazing dragons?