Naito completed the postgraduate metal carving course at the metalwork department at Tokyo School of Fine Arts. While still a student at the art school, his work was accepted for the first time at the Teiten. From then on, he submitted his works to the Bunten, Nitten, and the Kokugakai Exhibition. After the war, he presented his works at exhibitions such as Shinshokai and Dentokogeiten. He was a member of Nihon Kogeikai. In 1978, he was designated holder of an intangible cultural asset (metal carving). From a world of craftsmanship overemphasizing technique, Naito played a pioneering role by establishing metal carving as an original art of creativity.

The formative point of this box, in which the explicit design composed of planes and lines demonstrates an intellectual sensibility, is the geometric pattern incised forcefully on the surface of the sober copper in a technique called keribori (kick engraving). Keribori is a traditional line-engraving technique in which wedge-shaped traces of the chisel are dug in a sequence instead of drawing a line. Naito developed a method of his own through studies of Japanese and Chinese classics. There is a unique appeal that cannot be found in a smoothly drawn line and the dots form a powerful line. As a result, as evident in this box, the pattern surfaces clearly. While many traditional craftworks show off their skill in technique, Naito’s style demonstrated a remarkably modern sensibility. Although it is a serene work doing away with ostentation, it has a stylish dignity.


  • Title: Copper Hexagonal Small Box
  • Creator: NAITO Shiro
  • Date: 1978
  • Physical Dimensions: w19.4 x h10.6 x d10 cm
  • Media (Japanese): 銅、蹴彫、黒檀、岩絵具
  • Media: copper, kick engraving, ebony, mineral pigment
  • Type: Applied arts
  • External Link: http://www.pref.spec.ed.jp/momas/

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