NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/1/29

大西勲(人間国宝) Oonishi Isao Isao Onishi (Living National Treasure)

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Isao Onishi was born on June 30, 1944. In 2002, his original skill, Kyu-shitsu or lacquer craft technique, was designated as an important intangible cultural heritage.

After learning the basics of carving, from 1974, Onishi was apprenticed to Akaji Yusai and learned the rudimentary skills of lacquer coloring as well as 'magewatsukuri'. Magewatsukuri, or the bentwood technique, involves the bending of the wood into rings which become part of the body of each piece.

Onishi does all parts of the process by hand: from coating to construction. His much-praised works have won several prizes, such as the 40th Ministry of Education Prize at the Japanese Traditional Craft Exhibition, and 15th Director General of the Agency for Cultural Affairs Prize for Japanese lacquer tradition.

In addition, Onishi is focusing on the preservation of the tradition and, for many years, has been working at Ishikawa Prefecture's Wajima Lacquer Technical Training Institute as a lecturer.

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Isao Onishi (Living National Treasure)




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