The delicate movement is called hitofude ryuu, which roughly translates to “dragon with one stroke.” The men in this shop have been drawing hitofude ryuuu for four generations, according to Japanese culture blog Iromegane.
To create these impressive works of art, the artist first paints an intricate dragon head with a smaller brush. Then he artfully applies paint to a giant sumie brush and draws the body.
The scales and movement you see are from the small, almost undetectable hand movements of the Sumie, which creates a staggered design. This makes the dynamic body appear to writhe across the canvas.
So why dragons?An English-language flier at the shop explains:
Dragons are considered to be similar to guardian angels. They are talismans against evil and bring good luck. For ages they have adorn Shinto shrines and temples.
Pictures of dragons are also believed to bring good luck, good fortune and family security.
The artists at Kousyuuya only create dragon art, but as you can see, they do it very, very well. Every work is personalised and painted right in front of the customer, who chooses the design, colour, and kanji of the characters.
Check out more of their videos below.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.