A Closer Look 


All thirty-six kyōgire fragments in the JSMA collection are matted individually and each is accompanied by an oblong slip that provides some information about the piece such as the title of the sutra, name of the calligrapher or commissioner, date of completion, or its provenance (Fig. 21, see image below). All thirty-six slips share the same calligraphic hand, so we can be certain that they were produced by the same person.

These slips are not, however, the same as the kiwamefuda that accompanied the fragments in the Oregon Tekagami (for more information on kiwamefuda, please see “What is kiwamefuda?”). Although they share a similar oblong shape, the slips for the JSMA fragments are overall much larger, measuring around 13-14 cm in height and over 2 cm in width.

When we look closely at the paper, we also notice that it is thin and undecorated. There is no seal to identify the appraiser, either. Unlike kiwamefuda, which required inclusion of the first few characters of its accompanying fragment because it was not meant to be adhered to the piece in any way, the slips for the JSMA counterpart are all pasted onto the temporary paper support for the fragments that were meant to be discarded once the fragments were properly remounted upon purchase.

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