Two-fold wood panel screen entitled Spirit of Pine
by Yokoyama Ichimu
Japan, Showa period, 1970s
A two-panel marquetry screen, entitled Spirit of Pine, inlaid in triangular shapes of different woods, arranged in geometric shapes, resembling pine trees, on a ground of squares. The screen is of deliberate uneven proportions and is mounted on a shiny, black surround. The screen is signed by the artist on an applied wooden block.
The artist Yokoyama Ichimu I (1911 – 2000) was born in Nanto City, Toyama, an area famous for its tradition of fine carving of transoms (crosspieces separating a door from a window above it). His given name was Zensaku and his family had been active in craft production. Ichimu I trained under Oshima Goun II and took part in restoration projects of local temple buildings as an apprentice. He further studied lacquer art under the leading lacquer artist Yamazaki Kakutaro (1899 – 1984). In 1979, Ichimu set up the Yokoyama Ichimu Art Museum. Yokoyama Ichimu I was a leading figure in wood carving. He made screens, Ramma (Japanese architectural wall partitions), Hina dolls, ornamental Shishi-lion heads, decorative cabinets, and modern wall display objects. He regularly exhibited at the Nitten exhibitions and was appointed a judge and trustee for its organization. He won many prizes such as the Toyama Newspaper prize, the Yellow Ribbon award from the Japanese government, and was a holder of Intangible Cultural Assets from Toyama Prefecture for his skills in wood-inlay-marquetry. Upon his death in 2000 his son, Zen’ichi, succeeded and currently his grandson continues the family tradition.
Exhibited and published: Yokoyama Ichimu Wood Work Exhibition (Yokoyama Ichimu Mokugei-ten), held at the Takashimaya Department Store, Nihonbashi branch, Tokyo, autumn 1979, catalogue number 1.