It is said that gold is the oldest metal discovered by humanity. It can be said that the discovery of the gold that is bright in the river bed and that is particularly visible is a huge discovery in human history. Today, according to the records of archeology and classical times, it is said that human relations with gold come from the East around 4000 BC. It has been appreciated as a symbol of wealth, power and eternal value by its dazzling splendor and rarity. In addition, gold that is excellent for corrosion resistance, does not rust or decompose, is still used in various parts of historic monuments and works of art.
Gold is also the most extensible in metals, and 1 gram of gold can be turned into gold leaf with an area of 5,000 square centimeters and a thickness of 0.1 micrometers. The golden leaf of Kanazawa etc. It is famous in Japan.
In jewelry, it is mainly used as an alloy such as gold 18. This purpose is to add strength to the reliability of the high corrosion resistance of gold, mainly silver and copper etc.
This is a Natsume decorated with a scenery of Sumiyoshi in the style of Shishiaitogidashimakie. You can enjoy various expressions of the seanery with its gorgeous gold.
"Shishiaitogidasimakie" is a technique which combine "Takamakie" and "togidasimakie."
"Natsume" is one of the tea sets. It is used for putting powdered green tea in.
"Sumiyoshi" refers to the current area of Sumiyoshi district, Osaka prefecture. This area has good view so this area has been used as utamakura(a place name often used in ancient Japanese poems) in tanka. The god of maritime traffic and the safety and tanka is worshippped by people living in Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine.
住吉 蒔絵 平棗
住吉 Sumiyoshi 蒔絵 Makie
Sumiyoshi means Sumiyoshi Taisha
Shokyu 昭丘 is craftman's name
「昭」in Kanji grade 3 is shining,bright; clear; manifest; to show clearly or Showa period (1926-1989 )
「丘」 means Mount Hill, knoll. that refers to a small natural hill. tiny in size compared to an ordinary hill and characterized by a round top
As 昭丘 is the Makie-craftman's name. 住吉in Osaka is well-known for its shrine and Makie design attached to the place. 蒔絵 means, of course, a picture painted by lacquer from some special tree, and gold powder planted on it while it is still wet. This word 蒔くis a verb meaning "to plant, or scatter"(gold powder)
We are not quite sure of the story behind the Makie.but generally they choose good omen for the owner of user of Natsume, for example, pine-trees, bamboo, plumb blossoms signifying peace, strength, and beauty respectively. Also, crane and tortoise are believed to live 1000 years or 10,000years, and often are picked up as good design. And shrine is for protection of Sumiyoshi shrine.
About Sumiyoshi Taisha
Kanazawa lacqueware is produced in the area around Kanazawa City, in Ishikawa Prefecture. It was produced as a traditional handicraft to the taste of Japan's feudal lords, under the protection of the Kaga Domain, which was a large domain described as Hyakumangoku, or having the ability to produce a million koku of rice.
The characteristics of Kanazawa lacqueware are unparalleled levels of quality, balanced with magnificence. Free use is made of the advanced technique known as maki-e (gold/silver lacquer), creating luxurious and brilliant beauty. Lacqueware is said to have originally been handed down from China, but the maki-e technique is the first to have been produced in Japan. Kanazawa laqcuer ware's maki-e in particular has brought together all of the maki-e techniques handed down to today, including hiramaki-e (flat gold/silver lacquer), tokidashi maki-e (gold/silver lacquer polished to finish), takamaki-e (embossed gilt lacquer work), and shishiaitokidashi maki-e.
The reason for the diverse development of maki-e in Kanazawa is said to be that lacquer was used abundantly in the coating of armor during the Hansei Period. Kanazawa's lacquer work is subdivided into four areas: maki-e masters, scabbard masters, utsubo masters, and lacquering masters. This shows that emphasis was placed on both the strength and appearance of the important small tools used by samurai warriors. It is thought that once peace had been achieved, the symbolic samurai decoration was extended from armor to articles used in daily life, and lacquering techniques also developed accordingly.
Around the year 1630, in order to avert the view of the Tokugawa shogunate, which was scared of the power of the Kaga Domain, assets were invested in fine arts and industrial arts to produce peaceful policy. Toshitsune MAEDA, the third-generation lord of the Kaga Domain, actively invited skilled artisans from all parts of Japan to work as teachers. Among these, the skills of Douho IGARASHI, a leading master of maki-e during the Momoyama Period, led to the beginning of Kaga maki-e. Thereafter, the Igarashi school guided pupils under successive generations of feudal lords, pouring its energy into the training of young persons, and thus laying the foundations for Kaga culture. Many famous artisans were produced from the Edo Period through to the Meiji and Taisho Periods, and lacquering technology also advanced throughout this period. Many advanced lacquering techniques blossomed, such as shanome-nuri, and were established as techniques unique to Kanazawa lacqueware. There are few products still existing from the time from the end of the Edo Period through until the Meiji Restoration, due to a decline in handicrafts reputedly caused by economic failure of the Domain. However, the art of Kanazawa lacqueware, which has been handed down over 250 years, was seen in a new light thanks to the economic revitalization that took place after the Second World War.
So about all information, we know that the lacquered arts of Kanazawa begin with the Kaga clan, the Kyoto clan, which emphasized cultural politics at the time. Kanazawa lacquer was initially produced for the furniture on request of the clan who wanted a very refined quality and luxury with elegance. The main characteristic of the Kanazawa lacquer is the splendid and elegant kind of Makie results, a tradition that flows through the Higashiyama culture. Makie's technique is however varied, but albeit in the grace of different styles distinguishes it from everything. It is a combination of two painting techniques, sowing golden dust, and with further painting applications everything is worked with charcoal sharpening. Gold dust is used to give a three-dimensional effect. Artists often use such advanced technologies and with the support of Kanazawa Laquer paints they create heights to give a sense of perspective depending on the design.
Lacquer Kanazawa is not only delicate and bright , but also another unique feature in is often robust and a bit heavy. Naturally such beauty can be understood only with its use.
Wajima Hakuza 輪 島 塗 大棗
Ishikawa is a famous region cultural heritage for makie & Gold Leaf laquer. In the search od details about this Natsume we found the Hakuza Shop that sells products made of gold leaves, a specialty of Kanazawa. Inside is a traditional Japanese warehouse converted into a tea room and completely covered, inside and out, with gold leaves. Spectacular! And definitely in another class when comparing to Sakuda that appears in all the tour guides, but that is very touristy. This is located within the Higashi Chaya area which is a well-preserved area of old wooden houses and a delight to wander around. So, if you think about how to get a nice deal with gold leaf, this could be the right place to find the hotel.
1-30-4 Moriyama, Kanazawa 920-0843, Ishikawa Prefecture