NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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鏝絵 Kote-e Kote-e Plaster Relief Carving

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Koto-e is a form of relief carving on Japanese plaster. A special craftsman makes plaster reliefs and sculptures on to the walls of private house and storehouse. Designs include auspicious symbols and characters as well as imaginary beasts that represent people's prayers and wishes.

'Koto-e' has only recently been coined as a name for this craft, and Izu Chohachi's work was the first to be categorized as such. This craft used to be called 'doro-e', 'kabe-e', etc.

Koto-e relief carving is a craft that has only really developed from the late Edo through Meiji period, a time of kaleidoscopic changes into the modern era. The spirit of the craftsmen living through these times can be felt in their work. Recently, plaster-relief carving nearly vanished, but it has gradually seen its popularity as a craft rise again. A koto-e competition takes place annually in Hamazaki Town, the hometown of Chohachi.
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江戸指物 Edosasimono Edo Sashimono Woodwork

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Edo Sashimono is furniture and woodwork that is assembled without nails, and expresses a cool sense with elegance.
   In the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate invited craftsmen from all over Japan to set up workshops in Kanda and Nihonbashi.
   By the mid-Edo period, the workshops had refined certain styles and skills, one of them being sashimono woodwork.
   Without using any visible connection or metal nail, sashimono craftsmen created sturdy yet beautiful wooden pieces, such as mirror-stands, drawers for tea paraphernalia and boxes for inkstones.
   In Kyoto, sashimono for the Imperial Court and for the tea ceremony developed. In Edo, sashimono were mainly used by samurais, tradesmen and Kabuki actors.
   Edo Sashimono avoids over-decoration and retains a smartness and toughness. Hence, Edo sashimono fully characterizes the cool sense of the Edo people.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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