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Tools of maki-e

Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University

Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University

The Mitamura family brushes and tubes used to sprinkle metal powder have been passed down through the ages, and they move freely in the hands of Mitamura Arisumi like they are parts of his body. It is almost as if the brushes are joined with his body.
Tubes for metal powder are said to have once been made of swan feathers. But such traditional tools can no longer be obtained. It is becoming difficult in Japanese crafts today to obtain the tools, much less the materials, used. This is due to the aging of craftsmen who make them and to the materials becoming exhausted. The tools passed down by the Mitamura family have become the heritage of Japan’s lacquer culture in the same way historical art works are.

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  • Title: Tools of maki-e
  • Rights: © Mitamura Arisumi

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