Project Description

Mulberry Wood Tray with Lacquered Oak Leaves by Takai Tairei

The wood with distinctive grain and beautiful sheen, the leaves in Zeshin school tetsusabunuri takamakie technique


38 by 25.8 cm

In tomobako with hakogaki reading “kuwa-sei kashiwaba maki-e gofuku-bon” (mulberry wood gofuku-bon with lacquer oak leaves).  A fukubon is a tray on which one lays a kimono.  In this instance it is more likely intended for accessories

The artist was almost certainly an apprentice of Ikeda Taishin, and thus the second generation of followers of Zeshin.  He exhibited at the 4th and 5th Nitten (national exhibitions) in 1945 and 1949. This rare type of mulberry wood, called shimakuwa (island mulberry) grows only on Japan’s Izu Islands, and is prized for its quality of “chatoyance”, its unique sheen.  For more information, read Dr. Stephen J. Bowe in