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Updated: 13 Jun 2024

Japanese lacquer box
-Makie Suzuri Bako
Nami Chidori Zu


Delivery Time: Approx. 5-14 DAYS
*Delivery may take longer, depending on countries or holiday seasons.

Title: Japanese lacquer box-Makie Suzuri Bako Nami Chidori Zu

Material: wood, lacquer

Vertical Width Height Weight
28.0cm 21.5cm 6.5cm 1,306g

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

In stock

SKU: Suzuribako-13 Categories: ,

Title: Japanese lacquer box-Makie Suzuri Bako Nami Chidori Zu

 The Suzuri Bako (硯箱) is a type of box in which writing instruments such as writing brushes, ink sticks, or inkstone are stored. Also, some people use 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 kind of item. On this Suzuribako, you could enjoy the beauty of both these methods. Artisans developed various skills to decorate boxes.

 We believe the Suzuribako we introduce here is a Haristu Zaiku (破笠細工) work. It is a unique lacquer work created by Ogawa Haritsu (1663-1747) in the mid-Edo period. Makie products are inlaid with ceramics, vermilion, fan horn, lead, tin, etcetera. Haritsu is known as a Haiku writer and lacquer craftsman, and it is said he was born in Ise-no Kuni (伊勢国, today’s Mie prefecture) or Edo (江戸, today’s Tokyo prefecture). In addition, he produced Nikuhitsu Ukiyoe (肉筆浮世絵, a type of Ukiyoe). It is said that he began working on lacquer art around the age of 50, and his exotic style made him popular with the people back then. However, due to his popularity, in addition to his own works, there are also works made in his workshop, or in other words, works created by his disciples, that are also being distributed as Haristu Zaiku. In addition, in modern times, as it has become highly valued in Europe and the United States, there are many new works modeled after the Haristu products made by craftsmen from the Meiji era onwards, which were manufactured for export purposes.

 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 could 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. It is also a great idea to present this box as a special gift for someone who enjoys calligraphy.

 The theme of this Suzuribako’s design is a classical motif called the Nami Chidori (波千鳥). The Nami (波) means waves, and Chidori (千鳥) is a plover. You could see the figures of adorable little birds on the front side of the lid. Birds are colored in gold, green, and black. And they are arranged as if flying in a flock. The rainbow colors of the small birds are expressed using shells with the Raden technique mentioned above.

 On the other hand, the inside of this lid, the wave pattern is depicted with the Makie technique. The waves are very decorative and seem to be influenced by the Kourin Nami (光琳波) style. The Kourin Nami is based on the wave pattern created by Ogata Kourin (尾形光琳, 1658-1716), a representative painter of the mid-Edo period, in his works. It is an impressive design with many layers of waves.

 The Nami Chidori pattern represents a happy marriage and family safety. In Japan, people have treated it as a good omen design since the Nara period (648-781). Waves are compared to the world, which describes determination: overcoming difficulties with a partner even if there are small or big waves (difficulties/ troubles). Also, the plover pattern is used as a prayer. The Japanese name of the plover, Chidori, was associated with the word Chidori (千取り, which literally means get a thousand). Therefore, its design contains prayers for victory and wishes for goal achievement.

 *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. 

*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 antique item 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.

In stock

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