NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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本阿弥光悦 Honami-kouetsu Hon’ami Koetsu

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Hon’ami Koetsu was a calligrapher and artist in the early Edo period. He was also well known as the leading tea master of the time.
Hon’ami Koetsu was born into a family of swordsmiths who created and sharpened swords in Kyoto. He showed talent in a wide range of fields including calligraphy, pottery, lacquer, publishing, architecture and landscape design.
He especially excelled in calligraphy and, along with Konoe Nobutada and Shokodo Shojo, he came to be known as one of the Three Brushes of the Kan’ei Era (Kan’ei no Sanpitsu) . He founded his own personal style known as Koetsu-ryu, developed from the Japanese calligraphy style.
Hon’ami is also credited with founding the Rimpa School in the field of painting, together with Tawaraya Sotasu and Ogata Korin. His works include Rakuyaki Kamigawa-chawan ceramic teacups and Funabashi Makie Suzuribako lacquer work- both of which are designated as National Treasures, and Tsurushitae-wakakan painting, designated as an Important Cultural Asset.
In 1615, Hon’ami began an artist community called Koetsu-mura or Koetsu village in Takagamine, north of Kyoto, in the land granted by Tokugawa Ieyasu. He developed his own artistic style further and was also believed to have supervised all the work there.
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京漆器 Kyoshikki Kyoshikki (Kyoto lacquerware)

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Shikki (lacquerware) is a traditional Japanese craftwork where layers of lacquer are coated carefully on to a vessel or artifact. There are many aficionados who collect  Kyoshikki (Kyoto lacquerware) for its high quality and the beauty of what the Japanese call wabi and sabi that the craft embodies. Kyoshikki has several characteristics, such as the elegant and sophisticated design accompanied with solidness, and a structural beauty both on the surface and in the round, and the fine look of the completed product. Today, it is not used for the household, but more as a luxury item used mainly in tea ceremonies.Its history goes back to the Nara period. Influenced by Tang China, new techniques had been devised using the technique of maki-e (in which gold and silver powder is sprinkled on before coating with lacquer). When the Heian court established its capital on the site of present-day Kyoto, the art of lacquerware continued to developed there. After the Muromachi period, Kyoshikki spread out as the practice of tea parties became morepopular in Kyoto. Kyoto achieved nationwide recognition as the center of the lacquer industry. The motivating force for this recognition was the work and techniques that a number of masters, such as Korin Ogata and Kouetsu Honami, had developed, and the high quality and artistry that the skilled hands had created.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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