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Friday, Dec. 2, 2011
"Zohiko Urushi Art from the Mitsui Memorial Museum Collection"
By TOMOKO HORI
By the late Edo Period (1603-1867), the Mitsui family had become one of the most powerful mercantile powers in Japan. After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, their business became Mitsui Zaibatsu, a successful financial business conglomerate until its dissolution after World War II.
The Mitsui family were strong supporters of traditional Japanese arts, and among the craft businesses they patronized was Zohiko, a Kyoto-based lacquerware producer established in 1661. Under Mitsui patronage, Zohiko produced exclusive custom-made lacquerware for the Mitsui family.
This exhibition showcases more than 40 Zohiko works, including a tobacco box, desk and writing box that have been passed down through the Mitsui family; Dec. 3-Jan. 29.
Hosomi Museum; (075) 752-5555; 6-3 Okazaki Saishoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto; 7-min. walk from Higashiyama Station (Exit 2), Tozai Line. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ¥1,000. Closed Mon., and Dec. 26-Jan. 2; open holidays and closed the following day. www.emuseum.or.jp.