A kakejiku, which is also called a kakemono, is a scroll that is mainly hung on the wall of the tokonoma (alcove). Kakejiku are usually paintings that show the beauty of nature. Sometimes they are works of calligraphy that have been done on Japanese paper or silk. Then they are mounted on a roll of cloth. They can be rolled up and put away when they are not being used.The hanging scrolls are said to have originally been Buddhist paintings introduced from China, which were used for religious services. These Buddhist paintings became part of the tea ceremony, and the scroll painting came to be a decoration or an art object to be appreciated in the Muromachi period (A.D. 1333 – A.D. 1568). In this period, alcoves came to be built into rooms. The scroll paintings simultaneously came to be mounted beautifully so that they could decorate the alcove spaces.
The hanging scrolls have great influence upon the atmosphere of the rooms where they are displayed. For this reason, people chose a painting or a work of calligraphy that they admire or that is appropriate to the season. Generally, they replace the hanging scroll with a different one when the seasons change or when they have guests.