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  5. Inkstone Box with Poetry-Inspired Seashore Design in Maki'e and Silver Inlay
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Full Enlargement

Outer Lid

Outer Lid

Inner Lid

Inner Lid

Full Enlargement
Outer Lid
Inner Lid


Inkstone Box with Poetry-Inspired Seashore Design in Maki'e and Silver Inlay

  • 25.7 x 23.8 cm
  • Height: 4.8 cm
  • Muromachi Period (Early- 15th Century)
  • Important Cultural Property
  • HK 24
  • Kyoto National Museum

The design of this inkstone box is derived from a waka poem found in the poetry anthology Kokin Wakashu: "Plovers that inhabit the rocky coast of the Salt Cape; sing that the reign of Your Majesty may last forever."

The lid is decorated in a colorful variety of lacquer techniques: plovers in gold maki'e and silver inlay on thickly laid nashiji ground, high-relief maki'e rocks, a gold ikakeji and silver-dotted seashore and polished maki'e wave patterns. Selected passages from the poem in cursive Chinese script are integrated into the rock patterns.

The design as a whole follows the traditional Japanese Yamato-e style, but some details on the rocks reflect a more Chinese style. The design and craftmanship of this box are representative of Muromachi Period lacquerwork.

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