Bunko type box for booklets with design of “ne-no-hi”
Gold makie, mother-of-pearl, coral
Signed: Kirokusai
Inami Kirokusai Ⅱ (1902-1981)
Showa period, 20th century
H.17.5cm, W.34cm, L.43cm
Tomobako (original box), written “Ne-no-hi makie bunko

Inami Kirokusai Ⅱ was an artist of Wajima lacquerware and a son-in-law of the Inami Kirokusai Ⅰ. He was born in Gifu prefecture and moved to Kanazawa to learn the Kaga-makie lacquerware. After a while, he moved to Wajima and learned at Inami Kirokusai Ⅰ. He is admired as one of the best Wajima lacquerware artist until now. His style is very modern and the technique is quite fine.
“Ne-no-hi” is the very first day of the rat in a new year. The Japanese celebrated this day each New Year, wishing the prosperity and longevity. People went out to pick out the small pine branches or young greens, and enjoyed a feast.
Kirokusai Ⅱ was expressed a feast of ne-no-hi with the four fans. He depicted also the seasonal plants on each fan. Flowers or fruits are categorized into the four seasons to make haiku poem in Japan and it is obvious that he depicted a good wish for all the year round.
Spring: Wisterria
Summer: Gourd
Autumn: Bellflower
Winter: Nandina

He used his all technique to finish this work by putting the beautiful materials which colour correspond to each plant. The composition is radical and modern.

The similar stationary box (made in 1940 – Showa 15) is possessed by the Ishikawa Prefectural Wajima Lacquer Museum.