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Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

Query builder

Tea Container and Lid

Accession Number

Tea Container and Lid

Tamura Isshu

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
lacquer on wood

2 in x 3 1/2 in (5.08 cm x 8.89 cm);1 in x 3 3/8 in (2.54 cm x 8.57 cm);2 1/8 in x 3 1/2 in (5.4 cm x 8.89 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Director's Acquisition Committee

Label copy

Tamura Isshu
Japan, born 1957

Tea container named Bamboo Grove

Heisei period (1989–present)
Late 20th century
Wood with black lacquer, gold, and silver
Museum purchase made possible by the Director’s Acquisition Committee, 2016, 2016/1.261A&B

Matsuzaki Tohru

Japan, born 1944

Vermillion Lacquer Ridged Tray with Legs

Heisei period (1989–present)
Wood with black and red lacquer
Museum purchase made possible by the Director’s Acquisition Committee, 2016, 2016/1.211

These two works present very different aesthetic lineages in Japan: refinement and artless simplicity. The container by Tamura Isshu is for storing tea powder. On the lid, stylized gold leaves suggest the thick foliage of a bamboo grove; the silver stripes on the base of the container represent bamboo trunks. For both, the artist uses the Heian period (794–1185) technique of decorating lacquerware with small gold or silver particles (maki-e). The artist lives and works in Kanazawa, a town known for this tradition of lacquerware.

In contrast, the tray by Matsuzaki Tohru has a roughness that suggests the original function
of lacquering—making waterproof, heat-resistant wares for everyday use. Like the lacquerware used in Buddhist temples and monasteries since the twelfth century, its beauty lies in the gradual exposure of the base black lacquer under the red lacquer coating over many years of use. Matsuzaki creates wares by hollowing out a wood log and layering the surface with black and red lacquer.

Physical Description
Cylindrical container with a detachable lid. The container and lid are painted black with black and gold bamboo designs on the exterior and gold splatters on the interior. 

Primary Object Classification
Decorative Arts

Primary Object Type
tea container

Collection Area

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