Japanese inro in the Hopp Museum. Part 2. 1973.


26. Flat inrō of square form, with three cases (Fig. 26 a—b). Internal channels. Inside finegrained orange nashiji. On one side the figure of the dancing Taoist sennin, Chokaro, releasing his magic mule out of his gourd. The figure of Chokaro and his garment are mostly in gold hira- and takamakie, with some red lacquer. The hat and shoes are rendered with black lacquer. On the other side his harnessed mule, with chestnut-coloured (kuri-iro-fun) body; the mane and the saddle are in gold hira- and takamakie. The harness shows some red lacquer. 6.7X5.7 cm. This inro with its not too frequent form and decoration is an interesting example of the iconographically Chinese-style inro from the second half of the 18th century.

27. Flat inrō of rounded form, with four cases. Internal channels (Fig. 27 a—b). Inside finegrained nashiji; the rims show red lacquering. Landscapes on both sides, done mostly in gold hira- and takamakie on black ground. On one side the gate, fence and buildings of a temple with pines and flowering trees. The gate is in lead inlay; in the rocks and clouds okibirame; fine yasuriko-nashiji. On the other side island with trees and streamlet, two huts, with the fence inlaid in lead next them. The waves of the sea are rendered stylized, with gold painting. The base of the hills in the background also shows inlay in lead bars. The hills and clouds are in silver hiramakie. On the base and lid sparse yasuriko-nashiji. 6.5 X 4.7 cm. Mid or late 18th century. This inrō represents the early inrō decorated with landscapes.

28. Flat inrō of four cases. Internal channels (Fig. 28 a—b). Inside brown-lacquered; the rims are gold-painted. The decorations of the two sides are correlated. On one side a Chinese style one-storied building with the branches of a pine tree. The other side shows a reclining Chinese sage or poet looking up to the branches of the pine-tree. Gold hira and takamakie and some red lacquer on the rō-iro-nuri ground. On the building and on the garment of the sage okibirame. Gold-painted karakusa design on the side edges. Signature in two lines: Tenji (?) and Hōtoku (Yasunori), and kakihan. 6.4 X 5 cm. This inrō is decorated with a conventional Chinese theme. Technically it is made carefully though not excellently. It may be dated to the late 18th or early 19th century.

29. Inrō of four cases, with interior channels (Fig. 29). Inside orange nashiji. The decoration is mostly in gold hira- and takamakie on rõ-iro-nuri ground. The decoration of the two sides is connected.



A court carriage (gosho-guruma) on one side in gold makie work, with some silver takamakie, red lacquer, gold yakigane and koban. On the top and walls of the carriage fine karakusa design. The shafts of the carriage extend to the other side, which is decorated with kiku and hagi branches and autumn flowers. On the lid and bottom as well as around the carriage gold kirigane and okibirame. Signature: Seki Naotaka. 8.1 X 5.9 cm. The decoration is prepared with meticulous care on the finely polished ground. The representation refers in all probability to the Genji monogatari and it might have been taken from the motifs of the Tosa school. An early 19th century inrō of the Victoria and Albert Museum is decorated in a similar way with the representation of a court carriage. The shafts extend also here towards the flowers but the ground of the inrō is red.1

30. Inrõ in the form of a kinchaku. Two cases. Internal channels, hidden not only in the sides but also in the bottom of the inrō (Fig. 30). Inside very fine orange nashiji. The upper case is divided into three compartments. On both sides rocks in gold hira- and takamakie with wavy waters in the foreground on rõ-iro-nuri ground. The fence beside the rocks is inlaid in yellow metal sheets (taka-zogan). Beyond flowery branches with kiku, narcissus and other flowers inlaid and carved of red coral and porcelain. On the rocks okibirame.



On the lid and bottom of the inrō thinly scattered nashiji. In the centre of the lid a segmented silver plate on each side with a leaf in relief on it. 4.9 X 6.2 cm. Early 19th century. This inrō represents an infrequent type of inrō both in form and in technique. The classic combination of black and gold lacquer is completed here with miniature inlays of various materials in the style of Ritsuõ.
31. Flat inrō of four cases. Internal channels (Fig. 31). The inside is black, the rims are gold-painted. On both edges painted karakusa design. On one side the figures of two court nobles in black rõ-iro-nuri ground. The garment of one of them is inlaid in raden, the other’s is in gold hiramakie with some okibirame. The headwears are painted in black lacquer. On the other side a fence (“Ostzaun”) inlaid in raden and kiku and other flowers in gold hiramakie. 6.2 X 5 cm. Early 19th century. A modest inrō in technique, with traditional motifs.
32. Elongated inrō of four cases, with internal channels (Fig. 32). Inside amber coloured nashiji. Weather-beaten large rocks in gold hira- and takamakie on both sides with bamboo grove. In the foreground nashiji and very fine ground raden powder (mijingai-nuri) scattered into the lacquer. On the bottom gyõbu-nashiji with signature: Hōkyō Komin (1808–1878, according to the list of Tsuda). 8.6 X 5.3 cm. An inrō of careful, minute make from the early or mid 19th century. The combination of gold nashiji and scattered raden powder produces an interesting effect.




33. Flat inrō of four cases, with internal channels (Fig. 33 a—b). The inside is black. The decoration of the two sides is connected. A Japanese quince-tree with a crouching man hiding behind a low screen. In his left hand he holds the string of a propped basket bird-snarer. By the side of the basket two quails on the ground and two more above. The decoration is mostly in gold takamakie with less silver makie and some red lacquer at places — on the face of the man and on the tree – producing the effect of Negoro lacquer. On the trunk of the tree and on the leaves okibirame. The quails are in silver taka-zogan. 5.9 X 4.9 cm. Mid or late 18th century. This is an excellent example of early inrō with the decoration of the two sides conceived and finished as a comprehensive whole. The interesting individual choice of subject is combined here with a rich but not overstressed technical variety. It is worthy of note that the scene is not merely a decoration but it produces a living, pictorial effect. Besides, the scene is adapted in an excellent way to the form of the inrō and the distribution of space is proportionate without being symmetric.



An inrō decorated with a similar scene was published from the Orange collection. Here a red-clad boy is represented catching sparrows by the means of a snare. In the text it is described as an early 18th century inrō from Kyoto with a very unusual decoration.2

34. Inrõ of four cases, with internal channels (Fig. 34 a–b). The representation on the two sides is connected. The ground of the inrō is dark brown. The inside of the flat tray is in sabi-ji, imitating rusty surface; its outer wall is decorated with karakusa design. In the tray a small rock and the trunk of an old tree with a tortoise on it in gold takamakie combined with some okibirame. The back of the tortoise is covered with gold foil. The flowering branch of the plum tree is covered with red lacquer and gold foil at some places. 7 X 5.7 cm. This inrō, made probably around the turn of the 18th–19th centuries, displays a modest conventional decoration with its motif possibly taken from a painting. As to the latter, a suzuribako in the K. Herberts collection, dated to the mid-18th century, stands near to it.3



35. Barrel-shaped inrō of five cases, with internal channels (Fig. 35 a—b). Inside orange nashiji. On both sides finely executed rural scenes in exceptionally rich and varied gold techniques. Rice fields along a curving path with a boy holding the plough, a recumbent buffalo, stacks and birds in thick gold hira- and takamakie and kirigane. The other side shows a family pounding grains in a large mortar in front of a hut. The bamboo branches behind the hut extend to the top of the inrō. Some black and red lacquer as well as nashiji is applied together with the dominating gold makie work. 8.4 X 5.2 cm. Signature: Kajikawa and a red seal in the form of a vase. From the Kajikawa seals published by Weber the seal No 232 stands nearest to it.4 Mid or late 18th century. This is an outstanding inrō not only with its miniature and careful make but also in the pictorial rendering of the whole scene in lacquer-work. It seldom happens that an inrō displays not only some snatched details but such a rather complete scene. Thus, this inrō must be considered as a representative one from several points of view. A similar scene is represented on a late 18th century Kajikawa inrō of the Victoria and Albert Museum but on a fundame ground.5







36. Oblong inrō of five cases, with internal channels (Fig. 36). Inside dark orange nashiji with black dots. The polished brown ground is thinly scattered with gold nashiji. On one side a tortoise in gold yakigane, gold and brown lacquer with the mount Hõrai on it in gold takamakie and brown lacquer. Above bamboo, pine tree and plum flowers. On the other side flying crane under the red sun in gold takamakie. Signature: Kiyogawa and kakihan. 9.5 X 4.5 cm. Mid 19th century. An inrō of conventional design; on one side the decoration is somewhat crowded.

37. Inrõ of four cases; internal channels (Fig. 37 a—b). Inside orange nashiji. The dominant gold hira- and takamakie decoration is combined with other techniques. On one side flower-holder hanging on a pulley; its walls imitate rusty surface. The flowering plum branch is decorated with gold foil and aogai inlay. On the other side a pillar and the pole of the eaves. The leaves in the lower left corner are covered with gold foil and aogai inlay. The pod is in chestnut-coloured lacquer (kuri-iro-fun). Signature on the bottom: Hanabusa Itcho sho and circular red seal (Omomuki wa san-un ganseki no kan ni ari).6 7.3X6.2 cm. Late 18th or early 19th century. Hanabusa Itcho proceeded from the Kano school but laquerers adopted with preference his later paintings departing already from the Kanõ style. This inrō complements the list of inrō decorated after the paintings of Hanabusa Itcho, of which I know of seven.7 From the technical point of view this inrō is interesting so far as its decoration shows a later technical combination of various colours, surfaces and inlays, instead of the dominant gold decoration.




38. Inrõ of three cases; internal channels (Fig. 38). The decoration of the two sides is connected both in the scene and in the techniques. Small gold particles of various size are strewn into the brown ground. The figures of three Manzai dancers are represented – two dancers with fan on one side and the third one beating a drum on the other side – in gold hira- and takamakie, with some black lacquer and on the garments with some gold foil. 7.6 X 5.9 cm. Signature: Inaba. This inrō is interesting more for the figures of the Manzai dancers, appearing in towns around the New Year in the Tokugawa period, than for its quality or technique. With regard to this we must date it to the early or mid 19th century, although a lacquerer of similar name is mentioned both by Weber and by Herberts from the 18th century.

39. Inrõ of one case; internal channels (Fig. 39). The inside is black. On both sides leafy sprays in gold hiramakie in polished brown ground, with kirigane, aogai inlay at some places. The berries are inlaid in coral and pearl. 7.5 X 4 cm. Mid or late 19th century. This inrō may serve but as an example of late inrō made more as a fancy object than for actual use. The decoration is mannered and the inlays are bulging.






40. Inrõ of three cases; internal channels (Fig. 40 a—b). Inside fine-grained orange nashiji. The scenes of the same tale — the war of the monkeys and crabs — appear in red ground on both sides, connected at both edges. The rocky water-side, waves and the crabs are mostly in gold and some silver hira- and takamakie. The plastic figure of the monkey sitting on the shore and teasing the crabs with a branch is in bronze-coloured kuri-iro-urushi. On the other side a towering cliff behind the high waves with a sitting and another younger monkey climbing upwards. On the rocks and on the trunk of the trees okibirame and kirigane. In the great waves yakigane in some places. 7.2 X 7.5 cm. Second part of the 18th century. This inrō is of an interesting colour scheme and of excellent quality, displaying a wide variety of techniques without over-elaboration.

41. Inrõ of three cases; internal channels (Fig. 41). Inside orange nashiji, with gold-painted rims. A wild-boar in the thicket in bronze-coloured kuri-iro-urushi takamakie in shu-nuri ground. Pine branches and kiku in gold hira- and takamakie. Silver hiramakie, kirigane and gold foil at some places. A great leaf is inlaid in raden. On the trunk of the tree okibirame. The decoration extends to the other side. 7.5 X 7.1 cm. Early 19th century. This inrō is also of good quality from the technical point of view, but the large raden inlay is somewhat exaggerated here.

42. Flat inrō of four cases; internal channels (Fig. 42). Inside dark orange nashiji; the rims are gold-painted. On both sides fukuro-obi in various techniques in polished red, shunuri ground. Their bases are in gold hiramakie, polished black lacquer and aogai decorated mainly with geometric motifs in kirigane, kuri-iro-nuri, yakigane, kinpun and aogai inlay. 9.2 X 4.6 cm. Signature: Koma Kyuhaku. This carefully made but in its decoration somewhat over-elaborated inrō may be the work of a late Koma lacquerer from the early 19th century.

43. Inrõ of three cases; internal channels (Fig. 43). Inside reddish nashiji with black particles. One side is decorated with the sitting figure of a tiger in gold and silver hira- and takamakie with some black and red lacquer in the greenish-gray ground. The eyes are inlaid in rock-crystal. On the other side the trunk of a bamboo tree in gold makie work decorated with some okibirame. 6.9 X 6.4 cm. Signature: Zeshin. This inrō of the late 19th century falls short of the high standard of lacquerwork made by Zeshin.

44. Flat inrō of three cases; internal channels (Fig. 44). Inside cherry blossoms painted in various colours. The whole surface of the inrō, including the lid and the bottom, is decorated with large kiku flowers painted in various but mostly red, gold and black colours in jõgahana technique (not in real lacquer but in a technique resembling oil-painting). 8.3 X 5.3 cm. Second part of the 18th century. The painting of the inside indicates perhaps that this inrō decorated in a comparatively rare technique was made somewhere in the country.

45. Inrõ of four cases; internal channels (Fig. 45). Inside brownish-black. On the outer and inner walls of the cases gold-painted karakusa design. Both sides of the inrō are decorated with geometric patterns (asa-no-ha), each case with different patterns and technique: hexagonal patterns in aogai inlay, circlets painted in red, gold and black, chessboard pattern in black and gold. In the centre of both sides, in a large circle an ornamental disc in high relief in gold and in bronze-coloured alloy with the animals of the zodiac. On the lid and bottom of the inrō interlocked circles in aogai inlay with star-pattern in gold kirigane. 6.8 X 6.2 cm. Signature: Kajikawa and red Kajikawa seal in the form of a vase. Mid 19th century. This is a technically rather minute but somewhat overdecorated work of a late Kajikawa lacquerer. The Behrens collection contained a similarly decorated inrō with various inlay and dragons in shakudo bronze in a circular field. The lacquerwork itself was signed by a late Hasegawa master, the metalwork by Goto Mitsumori.8







46. Inrõ of one case in the form of a kinchaku (Fig. 46). The surface of the upper part and the back imitates leather. In the centre of the pouch-knob a silver rosette. On the lower side of the inrō wave-like semicircular pattern with stylized flowers painted in red, gold and silver. 5.3 X 5.4 cm. This is a late example of inrō imitating a pouch. An inrō of similar form in the Behrens collection has a Ritsuõ signature and seal.9

47. Inrõ of two cases; internal channels (Fig. 47). Inside unpainted wood. Tiny red and aogai particles in sabi-ji ground imitating a rusty surface. On both sides maple branches with momiji. The leaves are in red lacquer, the stems in gold makie work. The decoration goes around the inrō and extends to the top of it. 5 X 5.2 cm. Signature: Hõitsu fude. Early 19th century. This is an inrō of unusual technique and colour scheme decorated after a painting of Hõitsu. The combination of colours is modest, harmonic and the distribution of the decoration is excellent. Sakai Hõitsu played an important role in the revival of the Kõrin style. The Tomkinson collection had an inrō with the signature of Yöyusai, decorated also after Hõitsu with plum branches in togidashi technique.10

48. Flat, circular inrō of two cases, imitating the form of a Chinese bronze mirror (Fig. 48 a-b). Internal channels. Inside dark nashiji; the rims are gold-painted. On one side and round on the edge of the inrō sabi-ji ground imitating rusty surface. The twisted body of the four-clawed dragon is in high relief, made in the same technique. The teeth are in gold. The braided cord led through the knob of the mirror is in red lacquer and it extends with its tassel to the back. The other side of the inrō is decorated in an entirely different technique: the figure of a tiger is engraved in the smooth silver-grey shibuichi-ji ground. 6.7 X 6.5 cm. On the bottom of the inrō gold signature in two lines: Kanshōsai Tōyō. (There is no “tsukuru”, nor kakihan.) The inrō was presented to the museum by Dr. Ottó Fettick; earlier it belonged to the Delmár collection.
The decorative motifs of the inrō – the dragon and tiger — are traditional motifs of Chinese origin, symbolizing the emperor and his ministers, in a figurative sense the yang-yin elements. But the artistic accomplishment of the inrō is rather individual and interesting. The figure of the dragon is powerful and the red cord is of excellent effect in the sabi-ji and shibuichi-ji grounds.
The lacquer works, mostly inrō, of the Tōyō school were collected and studied intensively by B. von Ragué some years ago.11 As she mentions, there are but 11 pieces without kahihan among the 351 Tōyō lacquer works listed by her. In her opinion these are of mediocre quality and were made presumably by other lacquerers; the signature on them meant “in the manner of” (im Sinne von) Tōyō.12






Our inrō widely differs from the usual inrō both in form and in technique. According to the observation of von Ragué, inrō of one or two cases came into use among the Tōyō masters in the second quarter of the 19th century. We find, however, hardly any inrō of circular form in the catalogue of their works. The inrō published under Nr. 184, though circular, is made in a quite different technique. I know of a circular inrō in the Tomkinson collection. This has the signature of Tatsuki Kōkyō (Takamitsu), who worked about 1800. This inrō comes closer to our piece. Its ground imitates the surface of stone and it is decorated with the figure of a dragon in gold lacquer on it.13 On the other hand, we find about a dozen inrō with engraved (not gold-filled) decoration in the catalogue of the Tōyō lacquer works. Decoration in relief technique appears sometimes on their backs. Von Ragué mentions that this is a recurring combination which may form a speciality of the Tōyō school; their work in relief is minute and imitates apparently metal-work.14 Our piece imitates not only the metal surface but reproduces the form of the metal object, that of the bronze mirror; in this it differs from other inrō. Von Ragué mentions that a Tōyō master of unusual versatility worked about 1820—30 and he experimented with various techniques. Incidentally, the double Kanshōsai Tõyò signature is rather infrequent; it appears but on five inrō and on four other lacquer works according to the list compiled by von Ragué.

49. Inrõ of four cases; internal channels (Fig. 49). Inside black, the rims gold-painted. The whole surface of the inrō is covered by same-nuri (polished whitish sharkskin) ground. A number of small objects are scattered on the ground: habaki. hyõtan, yatate, kushi, menuki, inkstone. The technique is variegated but minute and harmonized: koban, yakigane, kuri-iro-urushi, red lacquer, sabi-ji, gold makie and aogai inlay. 7.7 X 6.4 cm. It was made probably about the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. There is an analogy to this inrō of excellent quality in the Behrens collection. We find sword-furniture on it, but here the ground is in mura-nashiji.15



50. Inrõ of three cases, internal channels (Fig. 50). Inside red, the rims are gold-painted. Ebi in silver takamakie in silver fundame ground. Around aquatic plants in gold hiramakie, kuri-iro-urushi and black lacquer. The claws and feelers extend to the other side. 7 X 6.9 cm. Signature: Koma Kyoryù. He worked about 1772–1788, according to the biographical list of Tsuda.



51. Inrõ of five cases; internal channels (Fig. 51). Inside orange nashiji. The decoration of the two sides is interlocked at one edge. The theme of the decoration is a tale, the foxes’ wedding procession (kitsune no yome-iri). The foxes carrying the palanquin march in rainthrough the wood; the group is led by eight foxes.
The whole scene is rendered in fine togidashi technique, in various shades of gold and some silver in black ground. Above nashiji strewn in clouds. 9.3 X 5.1 cm. Signature: Koma Kyoryù and red kakihan. The name in this case is followed by tsukuru and the writing is different from that under Nr.50. The biographical list of lacquer workers compiled by Tsuda gives no year of birth and death for this master but mentions only 1772–1788 as working years. Our inrō looks somewhat more recent. Koma Kyoryù is mentioned also by von Ragué as the maker of lacquer works decorated in rather fine togidashi technique.16 The same story, the wedding of foxes appears on the inrō of another Koma master, of Koma Kyuhaku in gold togidashi17; on an inrō of the Behrens collection, signed Tõyo, in sumi-e techniques and on three other inrō of Tõyõ masters.19 It is noteworthy that this story is reproduced mostly in togidashi technique. Perhaps an earlier well-known inrō decorated with the same scene might have served as a model for these pieces.

52. Inrõ of two cases; internal channels (Fig. 52 a-b). Inside sparse nashiji in clouds, in black ground. The inrō is carved in light wood and it is decorated with the plastic figures of three demons expelled and fleeing from a house. The figure of the oni in the centre is in black and red negoro lacquer on the kijimakie ground. The figure of the kneeling oni is in light green faiance, with whitish garment; the body of the running oni at the house is red. In the pottery square under the window a seal: Kan (Ritsuõ). 6.7 X 5.5 cm. First part of the 19th century. The dynamic decoration of the inrō is of good quality both in design and technique. Were it not for the painted – gold on black ground – window, one might even think of an earlier date. There are quite a number of lacquer works with Ritsuõ seal or signature (inrō and other boxes, but mostly later works) in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.20 Usually they show the same style and technical combinations. The Tomkinson collection contained 17 inrō with Ritsuo sign, the latter being placed frequently in a pottery square. An inrō of the Behrens collection had a Kajikawa signature with the seal Kan. It is decorated with the head of a shishi in green faiance.21

53. Inrõ of one case; external channels (Fig. 53 a—b). Inside two oblong cases and a third smaller one. A plastic heron in white porcelain decorates one side of the inrō on the kijimakie ground. The leaves of the water plants around are in green faiance and in gold hiramakie with some nervures in raden. On the other side similar aquatic plants. In the lower left corner signature in pottery square: Kenya. 8 X 4.5 cm. Mid 19th century. This is a late but interesting inrō decorated with unusual technique. The plastic figure of the heron is effective on the wooden ground.

According to Nakagawa Sensaku, Miura Kenya (1825—1889, born in Kyoto but worked later in Edo) made ceramic-inlaid lacquer works in the style of Ritsuõ up to the beginning of the Meiji Era. In the Meiji period he made pottery in the style of Kenzan; later he studied also European shipbuilding.22 He is mentioned as one of the most talented follower of Ritsuõ and Kenzan.

54. Kijimakie inrō of three cases; the corners are rounded. Internal channels (Fig. 54). The outer rims are carved in wavy line. On one side a wild-goose and bamboo on the riverside. On the other side a heron with bamboo and flowers. Gold and silver hira- and takamakie on the veined wooden ground with some black painting and greenish gold powder in the foreground. Signature on one side: Naonobu ga. Signature on the bottom: Jõka. 8,3 X 8.1 cm. This inrō was decorated after the painting of a Kano painter by a late member of the Yamada family. According to Weber, all members of this family of Edo bore the name Jõka and the last master still worked in 1879.23 Several inrõ with Jõka signature are known with decoration after Kano paintings.24

55. Black inrō of four cases; internal channels (Fig. 55). Inside black. Carved scrollwork above and below and partly extending sidewards. On one side an old Chinese literate playing the koto in moonshine on the terrace of a house. In the background small table with books and a screen. To the left streamlet among hills. On the other side an angling Chinese with a basket. Farther a boat and mountains. The whole decoration is carved. Engraved signature on the frame of the screen: Oizumi sumu Murayasu (Zonsei) and kahihan. Second half of the 19th century. 7.3 X 5.4 cm. The Behrens collection had a tsuishu inrō decorated in the same style with Chinese sages (signed also on the screen) and another tsuishu inrō with seven sages in the bamboo grove, both made by the same master, by Murayasu.25



56. Carved black inrō of four cases, the corners rounded. Internal channels (Fig. 56). Two aged Chinamen playing chess with a third one looking on. Behind a screen decorated with landscape. On the other side two old Chinese sitting at a low table and a servant. Here the screen is decorated with bamboo. The bottom, lid and sides are decorated with carved scrollwork. 7 X 5.1 cm. Second half of the 19th century. The theme of the decoration of this Chinese-style inrō appears rather frequently. An inrō of the Orange collection for instance shows Chinese sages playing chess, but it is carved in red lacquer.26



57. Inrõ of large size, of five cases, carved in red, tsuishu lacquer. Internal channels (Fig. 57). Inside gold nashiji, the rims gold-painted. Rocks, flowering prunus branches and peonies on both sides in high relief on finely carved asa-no-han ground. The decoration is connected on both sides. 8.6 X 6 cm. Late 18th century. This is a carefully carved lacquer work. The decoration extends to the bottom and lid of the inrō. A tsuishi inrō of the Behrens collection decorated with bamboo, peach- and pine-trees may be mentioned as a parallel.27

58. Inrõ of carved red lacquer; four cases. Internal channels (Fig. 58). The sides end in an edge. Inside black-painted. On one side garden and pavilion with three Chinese. Pine-trees and clouds in the background. On the other side pine-tree, flowering prunus branch and bamboo. The decoration is carved on fine asa-no-ha ground.



On the bottom of the inrō rosettes, on the lid a grasshopper and flowers on geometric ground. 6.9 X 3.9 cm, A Chinese-style inrō from the second half of the 18th century. Inrõ of similar decoration and technique may be mentioned also from the Behrens collection.28

59. Hexagonal inrō; internal channels (Fig. 59). Inside dark nashiji, the roms gold-painted. Thatched hut in gold and silver hiramakie and some brown lacquer on black rõ-iro-nuri ground. At the back kiku and bamboo poles. 7.2 X 2.7 cm. Earlier published by Zoltán Felvinczi Takáts.29 This inrō of unusual form and of modest decoration may be dated perhaps to the late 18th century. A hexagonal but straight-lined inrō with different decoration and Tõyö signature was published by Weber from the Behrens collection.30

60. Iron inrō of a single case. External channels (Fig. 60 a—b). Inside a covered metal case with two figures, prunus branch and landscape engraved in the surface. The sides of the inrō are decorated in high relief. On one side high rocks and waterfall with fallen leaves in the foreground. On the other side an aged Chinese poet standing under a plum tree. The branches are in silver. The garment of the poet is in black shakudo alloy with karakusa design in gold. Presumably the representation of Ri-haku (Li Tai-po), who was represented frequently in admiring a waterfall, 7 X 5 cm. Shinkichi Hara mentioned in his book two metalworkers with such a name who signed their names with characters identical to those on our inrō: Mitami Masaharu of Kyoto (second part of the 18th century) and Onuki Masaharu of Edo (first third of the 19th century). For lack of comparative material it would be difficult to tell which of the two mentioned metalworkers might have been the maker of our inrō. But more likely it was the master of the 19th century, though he signed his name with reisho.31






* Part one was published in the IME XI. 1968. 151–167.

  1. Strange, E. F.: Catalogue of Japanese lacquer.
    Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 1924—25.
    P. II. No. 1334, Pl. XIX.
  2. Orange, J.: A small collection of Japanese lacquer. Yokohama, 1910. 48. No. 121. Unfortunately no illustration is published.
  3. Herberts, K.: Das Buch der ostasiatischen Lackkunst. Düsseldorf, 1959. 91.
  4. Weber, V. F.: Ko-ji hö-ten. Paris, 1923. App. III.
  5. Strange, op. cit. No. 1150. No illustration is published.
  6. For the reading of the seal my thanks are due to the Chief of the Lacquer Room in the National Museum, Tokyo, and to Dr. Aki Uyeno, Tokyo.
  7. C. f. von Wangenheim, G. F.: Der Einfluss der japanischen Malerei auf die japanische Lackkunst. Gotha, 1928. 32.; Strange, op. cit. Nos. 1609, 1667; in the Behrens collection, Catalogue by H. L. Joly, Nos. 14, 226.
  8. See Joly, op. cit. No. 1326, Pl. LIII.
  9. Joly, op. cit. No. 145, Pl. XXII.
  10. Tomkinson, M.: A Japanese Collection. P.1.
    London, 1898. No. 307.
  11. von Ragué, B.: Materialen zu Iizuka Toyo, seinem Werk und seiner Schule. Oriens Extremus 11. 1964. 163-235.
  12. von Ragué, op. cit. 172.
  13. Tomkinson, op. cit. No. 96.
  14. von Ragué, op. cit. 181, 189, 196.
  15. Joly, op. cit. No. 86, Pl. XVI.
  16. Geschichte der japanischen Lackkunst.
    Berlin, 1967. 276.
  17. Strange, op. cit. No. 1070.
  18. Joly, op. cit. No. 875, Pl. XLIII,
  19. von Ragué: Materialen…, Nos. 49, 123, 131; the mentioned inrō of the Behrens collection is included here under No. 122.
  20. C. f. Strange, op. cit. Nos. 112, 1123, 1459, 1265,
    1346, 1353, 1581, 1589, 1591; the last two are kijimakie inrō.
  21. Joly, op. cit. No. 906, Pl. XLIV.
  22. See Nakagawa Sensaku: Meiji Crafts,
    in: Japanese arts and crafts in the Meiji era,
    Ed. Uyeno Naoteru, Tokyo, 1958. 143-144.
  23. Weber, op. cit. Vol. II. 458.
  24. See Wangenheim, op. cit. 31.
  25. Joly, op. cit. Nos. 52, 64.
  26. Orange, op. cit. Pl. 46. No. 128.
  27. Joly, op. cit. No. 55. Pl. XII.
  28. Joly, op. cit. No. 54, Pl. XIII,
  29. The Francis Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts, in: Far East. Vol. I, Nr. 1—3.
    Bp., 1936. 5, Fig. 6. 3)
  30. Weber, op. cit. Vol. I. 472, Pl. XXXIII/11.
  31. Shinkichi Hara: Die Meister der japanischen Schwertzieraten. Hamburg. 1931. 77.