This Inro has a luxurious appearance thanks to the Makie (蒔絵) technique. The Makie is 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 you see in this Inro case.
In this work, you see lots of cherry blossoms are designed in a narrow space, and it looks like a carpet of cherry blossoms. Large trees are drawn in the background of these large numbers of petals. This Inro’s design might depict the mountain surface. About the cherry blossom motif, this flower is one of the seasonal things of spring, and it has been cherished for a long time in Japan. Its pattern is designed for various items such as sword mountings, the Kimono (着物, traditional Japanese costume), furnishings, etcetera. A theory says that the god of grain exists in cherry blossoms. Therefore, this flower pattern has been treated as a symbol of a plentiful harvest. It shows how this flower design has been familiar to Japanese people.
The Ojime (緒締, part between the Inro case and the Netsuke) is a component that prevents the Inro case will opening, and it also has another role in combining two strings into one. The motif of this work’s Ojime has a sphere shape. It looks small animals (estimated mice or rabbits) are arranged to fit a ball shape.
The motif of this Netsuke (根付, miniature sculpture, fastener) is the Kuri (栗, chestnut). There is a variation of the chestnut motif: the Kachi-Guri (搗栗, dried chestnuts). It is sometimes found as a motif for sword mountings due to its name. As its name, Kachi-Guri has the same pronunciation as a Japanese word: Kachi (勝ち, victory). We imagine Samurais appreciated it as a good-luck omen to hope the success in battles. Also, the Kuri is enjoyed as a familiar food for Japanese people. For example, there is a traditional dish for Osechi-Ryori (お節料理, Japanese new year’s food) that contains chestnuts. It is called Kuri-Kinton (栗きんとん) and is always selected as a lucky charm to strengthen the fortune and game luck in new year’s Osechi dishes.
We hope you enjoyed this description, and we wish this Inro would speak to you.
*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.
*Please note that the lid of this Inro’s original wooden case is partly broken. So the box design will be different if you want to change the box.
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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