Important Cultural PropertyWriting box 'Kinuta,' lacquered with metal powder, the picture inspired by a poem from Senzai Waka Anthology

Save Image

image 全画面表示


  • 1 piece
  • Lacquered wood
  • 24.8x22.9x5.1
  • Muromachi period/16th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • H-42

Using both sides of the lid, the picture depicts an autumn field shining in the moonlight and a man and a woman in a shingle-roofed house beating clothes with kinuta (a wooden or stone block, beating clothes with one was common for its ironing effect). Gold raised makie (takamakie) and burnished makie (togidashi makie) are the techniques mainly used. This picture on the small box permeates with lyrical emotion, so much so that it gives the impression of encapsulating a fantastic world in and of itself.
On the outside of the lid, there are five hiragana characters "しられ ぬる" (shirare nuru, lit. has been known) imbedded with silver sheets (hyoumon). This feature, together with the motif of a pillow in the lower part of the picture and the kinuta-beating motif on the reverse side of the lid, indicates that the design was taken from one waka poem by Priest Toshimori, "Hearing the sound of beating clothes, I know now a village is not far, in this solitary overnight stay." The picture is an example of hanji-e/nazotoki-e (picture puzzle) by virtue of the apparently mysterious combination of the autumn field and the pillow, as well as one of ji-kakushi-e (picture with hidden letters), with the letters hidden in the picture in a sophisticated manner.