Bee, Jizai-okimono

Tomiki Muneyoshi and Photo by Kimura Youichi

Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University

Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University
Kyoto, Japan

Many jizai-okimono still exist that were made by the metal craftsman Tomiki Muneyoshi from Kyoto, and Kozan Takase who learned his skill from Tomiki. Takase Kozan, originally from Kanazawa, first worked at a trading company in Kobe, which made him excellent in sales management. In 1893, Takase started his own independent business in Kyoto. At the end of Meiji, his work was bought by the Crown Prince and then through the Taishō Era (1912~1926) and early Shōwa Era (first half of the 20th century), Takase continued to show his work in many expositions. At the time, in response to the high demand and many orders they used a workshop production system. Evidence of this can be seen in the molds for making an Ise lobster that have been passed down in Tomiki’s workshop. They must have tried using molds in order to mass-produce the jizai-okimono.
In this way the jizai-okimono makers prospered. With the end of Japonisme, however, and the outbreak of the World War, their role in export had finished. At present only two craftsmen are left who make jizai-okimono. One is a descendent of the Tomiki family, Tomiki
Muneyuki and the other comes from a line of Tomiki’s disciple, Mitsuda Haruho.


  • Title: Bee, Jizai-okimono
  • Creator: Tomiki Muneyoshi, Photo by Kimura Youichi
  • Type: metal, insect, movable
  • Original Source: Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum
  • Rights: © Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum
  • Medium: Metal

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