Tiered food box with motif of Japanese cypress fans
Lacquer on wood
Edo period, 18-19th century
H:50cm, L:52.5cm, D:36.5cm
Original box

Jyūbako is a set of tiered lacquered boxes to put food on the particular occasions “hare-no-hi”, as the day of celebration. The quality and exceptionally large size of this jyūbako is rare and exceptional. The design of Japanese cypress is made with the technique of togidashi-maki-e and takamaki-e. Japanese cypress fan (hi-ōgi) is used in the Imperial Court, and it became a popular motif for the lacquerwares. Probably it is because that the fan was used only by the aristocrats and it rouses the admirations.

The artist put the black lacquer at the beginning, and burnished finely. After he sprinkled plenty of gold powders extravagantly. The auspicious plants and flowers are depicted on each fan design. Chrysanthemum flower, which is a symbol of the Imperial family, and pine tree, bamboo and plum flowers which are called “shōchikubai”, they are the auspicious flowers in set. All the motives are depicted with very fine takamaki-e technique.

Flat decoration makie. After the first drying, the decoration would be covered with another lacquer and it would be burnished. After repeating this processes for some times, this technique makes the lacquerware very resistant and picturesque.
A flat traditional method of decorating lacquer objects. Motifs are drawn with lacquer on the surface and gold or silver powder in differing grades is sprinkled on the still wet lacquer ground. Flat type.
A decoration technique in which design elements are formed of lacquer and foundation material in relief. Gold or silver powder is sprinkled on their surface. As pictorial elements executed in this technique are raised off the ground, it is called “high sprinkled picture.”