Lacquer box “Intersecting Stripes” by Igarashi Kan’ichi
Japan, Heisei period, dated: March 1998
A rectangular lacquer box with sleeve cover, decorated in very shallow relief with a design of stripes, some diagonal and others straight. The design is executed in green, gold and brown lacquer lines and some of the lines are inlaid in metal. The lines partially cross each other at intervals to create a lozenge motif in the middle of the top. The pattern is repeated on the two long sides, whilst the short sides only have stripes. The interiors of both box and cover are decorated in nashiji; sprinkled gold flakes on a black background. The outside of the box and the base are lacquered black. The box is contained within the original wooden tomobako, the top of which is inscribed Kosa suru sutoraipu, urushi kazaribako (a decorative lacquer box, with a design entitled Intersecting Stripes). The reverse of the tomobako has the inscription Heisei junen sangatsu, Igarashi Kan’ichi saku (made by Igarashi Kan’ichi, March in the Heisei 10th year (1998)
After graduating from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts, the lacquer artist Igarashi Kan’ichi (1923 – 2003) studied under Rokkaku Shisui (1867-1950), who was a pioneer in Japanese lacquer craft. Igarashi was active in the Kofukai Exhibition and the Japan Traditional Lacquerware Exhibition, and a friend of the Kofukai Group. This lacquer box was exhibited at the 84th Kofukai Exhibition in 1998. The artist was a distinguished member of the Nihon Kogei Kai (Japan Arts Crafts Association). Examples of his work can be found at the Meiji Jingu Shrine Treasure Repository Museum in Shibuya.
1 Kofukai 84 exhibition catalogue, second section, p. 30