Gourd-shape vase with butterflies, Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum Collection

Namikawa Yasuyuki

Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University

Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University
Kyoto, Japan

The wire cloisonné enamel technique developed in Owari was introduced to Kyoto at the start of the Meiji period. At the time this enameling technique was called doro-shippō (muddy cloisonné enamel), as opaque glaze was used. Through the refining of the glaze, the enamel developed into one that gave beautiful brilliance after the 10s of the Meiji period. It is said that Gottfried Wagener (1831-1892), a German scientist employed by the Meiji government, made great contributions to the refining of the enameling technique. The remarkable change is so great that other cloisonné enameled objects are outshined. Objects glowing with the new cloisonné enamel shine spread throughout the world via events such as World Expositions and the craft continues to attract people today.


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