Respect the Past, Create the New


12 1/4″ W x 43″ H Japanese Scroll
by Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase


Respect the Past, Create the New in Japanese is 温故知新 which is read onkochishin

Onkochishin is one of my favorite sayings. It means one needs to first learn the basics, learn the accumulated wisdom and only then can one create the truly new.

Onkochishin was perhaps first introduced to the United States on Iron Chef in Iron Chefs: New York Battle when Iron Chef Michiba gave this advice to Iron Chef Morimoto. The translation was given then as “Respect the old, search for the new.” The phrase was meant to remind Morimoto that it is by respecting traditions and methods of the past that truly new works may be created.

In 2006, Warner Brothers bought a copy of one of my onkochishin scrolls to be used in what was then titled “Red Sun, Black Sand”. The title was later changed to “Flags of Our Fathers” and, unfortunately, the scene with the scroll ended up on the cutting room floor.

Both of these stories show a central role that this phrase has in Japan. And, truly, it is a universal lesson.

Translations You Can Trust: We want you to be as happy with the Japanese translation as you are with Master Takase’s beautiful art. So we have made it easy to confirm the translation for yourself by simply clicking on Respect the Past, Create the New (onkochishin) which links to the independent Jeffrey’s Japanese English Dictionary.

About The Art: This beautiful hand brushed scroll by Master Takase is personally created at the time of your order and proudly bears her seal and signature. We exclusively import this high-quality scroll with brown silk borders and fine Japanese paper from one of the finest scroll makers in Nara Japan. This is not a print but is hand brushed to match the sample as closely as possible. This is a personal work of art that is designed to last generations.

Delivery: The scroll is completed and shipped within 1-3 business days and arrives ready to display.