Important Cultural PropertyMount Fuji Plaque in cloisonné

Save Image

image 全画面表示


  • By Namikawa Sōsuke (1847-1910)
  • Dated 1893 (Meiji 26)
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • G-603

  Namikawa Sōsuke (1847–1910) was a cloisonné (shippō) artist who was active in Tokyo during the Meiji era (1868–1912). In 1896, he was appointed as an Imperial Household Artist along with Namikawa Yasuyuki, another cloisonné artist active in Kyoto. Although Namikawa Sōsuke was originally a ceramics merchant, he started working on cloisonné after being impressed by cloisonné works at a national exposition. He developed wireless cloisonné (musen shippō) around 1880. In the normal process of cloisonné making, metal wires are placed on a base material, such as copper, to draw a pattern. A vitreous paste is then applied within each of the wire enclosures. In wireless cloisonné, however, the metal wires are removed just before firing. The resulting work would have a picturesque, shaded and blurred finish. This work is one of Namikawa's wireless cloisonné masterpieces, and was exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, which was held in Chicago.
  The image portrays Mount Fuji in the summer. In the top right, you can see the snow-capped Mount Fuji emerging through the clouds. In the center, white clouds spread from the upper left to the lower right. The background color is a mixture of pale purple and gray. The mountains are several shades of blue, while the clouds are shades of white and gray, rendered overall in gradations of many glazes in varying colors.
 At the Chicago Columbian Exposition, this work was exhibited in the painting section rather than the fine arts section, and was highly appraised. It was designated as an Important Cultural Property in 2011.