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Updated: 5 Mar 2024


Japanese lacquer box-Makie Suzuri Bako Jusan Gane


Title: Japanese lacquer box-Makie Suzuri Bako Jusan Gane

Signature: 柴山 (Shibayama)
Material: wood, lacquer

Size (Approx.) Weight
20.5 cm × 12.5 cm × 2.5 cm 500 g

You can enlarge all the photos to see the detail of the item.


SKU: Suzuribako-08 Categories: ,

Title: Japanese lacquer box-Makie Suzuri Bako Jusan Gane

 The Suzuri Bako (硯箱) is a type of box in which writing implements such as writing brushes, ink sticks, or inkstone are stored. Also, some people used it to put a small knife or calendar. The Suzuri Bako is often made from lacquered wood. The *Makie (蒔絵) and the *Raden (螺鈿) are popular ornamental techniques for this item. Artisans developed various skills to decorate boxes.

 A deer is sitting with his back to the viewer side, and maple leaves are falling around it. The half-moon is depicted at the backside of the lid. This box’s design expresses a beautiful scenery of an autumn night. The combination of deer and maple leaves is a classical theme. Today, it is well-known as a motif of the Hanafuda (花札, Japanese card game), which symbolizes autumn. There is a story about this motif. Once upon a time, a deer came to a child who was training and ate precious paper. The child hit the deer with a paperweight to get rid of the deer. However, the deer happened to be hit on a vital spot by this attack and passed away. At that time, the deer was considered a messenger of God, and people thought it was a sacred animal. The child was buried alive in stone and sand with the deer’s corpse for the crime of killing the deer. The child’s mother deeply mourned his death and planted a maple tree to hold a funeral for his deceased after her die. This tradition was taken up in the title of the Joruri (浄瑠璃, Japanese narrative ballad chanted to the accompaniment of Shamisen) as a title; the Jusan Gane (十三鐘), and became widely known to the public.

 Now, looking at this box’s design again based on this story, it seems that the expression of the deer has a sad face mourning the child’s death. Also, this subject could be said the mother’s deep affection. We hope you will appreciate this box’s design with this history.

 The Suzuri (硯, inkstone) is stored in this Suzuri Bako. If you have the Sumi (墨, inkstick), you could use this Suzuri for Japanese calligraphy. You can also display it to enjoy as a part of the interior decoration in your room. This box is decorated with the traditional Japanese technique; it would make an elegant and luxurious atmosphere. Or, it would be a special gift for someone who enjoys calligraphy.

 *Makie……A typical Japanese lacquer art technique developed uniquely in Japan for about 1200 years. Firstly, it needs to draw a picture with lacquer on the surface with a thin brush. Next, sprinkle the gold powder from above to show the pattern before the lacquer hardens. This technique makes a gorgeous and elegant look to works.

 *Raden…… It is a kind of decorative technique that is often used for traditional craftworks. It uses the pearl part of seashells and puts it into the engraved surface of lacquer or wood. Thanks to its iridescent luster, it gives a luxurious look to works.

 *As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.

【About us】
 Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.

【Payment method】
 We accept payment through Stripe (Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. Also, you don’t need to make an account on Stripe for the checkout. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, CHF or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate. 

【Shipping duration】
 We normally ship via EMS (Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. It usually takes at least 5-14 days to deliver the package after you place an order. We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can ship your order by EMS. If you prefer other shipping carriers, please contact us.  

 We will inform you of the order’s tracking number via email. Please make sure you fill out your valid email address correctly. 

*Please keep in mind that due to the spread of COVID-19, there might be possible delays in delivery. If you like to make sure if EMS shipping is available to your country, please contact us.

【How to make sure the condition】
 Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision. 

 It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of Suzuribako and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.


 Would you like see some more Antique items for sale? Please check the link below. We hope you can find your favorite item.


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