It has a flat rectangular shape and is divided into four layers. A string was passed to both sides of each step, fastened with netting to prevent fall. Furthermore, the string was sandwiched between bands.
A rooster and hen are hanging around near the chrysanthemum hedge. Chrysanthemums are also designed for Netsuke (根付). Netsuke is a carved ornament attached to the cord of an Inro in this work’s case. Birds, flowers, and butterflies, each motif is carefully expressed with the exquisite handicrafts. Each part is colored to suit each, so it gives a stunning yet elegant impression.
According to its signature, this Inro’s maker is Shibayama Kazuyuki (芝山 一之). There are several theories about its origin. A view says that Shibayama Senzou (芝山 仙蔵) devised the name of Shibayama in the Edo period, Anei era (安永, 1772-1781). Shibayama is a gorgeous decoration technique for lacquerwares and is also called Shibayama-Zaiku (芝山細工) or Shibayama-Zougan (芝山象嵌). The most outstanding feature of Shibayama is the technique of relief-shaped engraving and inlaying. It uses natural materials such as pearl shells, tortoise shells, or ivory. This style works have a different taste compare to *1 Raden or *2 Makie.
Shibayama became well-known art all over the world at the world exposition held in the 19th century. Japanese craftsmanship standard in the Meiji period was very high, and European people admired it. Since then, Shibayama works were actively exported to foreign countries. Many master artisans settled in Asakusa, Nippori, or Negishi during the prosperous time and produced lots of masterpieces. However, same as Meiji crafts, its advanced technology has been disappeared with the times, and now only a few craftsmen are left. This style requires high-quality skill and a long production time; it has been appreciated as a luxury item. We hope this Inro would charm you and become a part of an excellent collection for you.
*1 Raden…… It is a kind of decorative technique that is often used for traditional craftworks. It uses the pearl part of seashells and put it into the engraved surface of lacquer or wood. Thanks to its iridescent luster, it gives a luxurious look to works.
*2 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.
*As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.
What is Inro?
Inro is a small container for carrying medicine and tobacco leaves. In the Edo period, Samurai had a habit of carrying regular medicines in Inro, which were used daily and were popular as accessories that represent Edo crafts.
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.
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【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 Inro and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
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