Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Inro

Inro

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1865 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Shibata Zeshin, born 1807 - died 1891 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Green, gold, silver, red and black lacquer

    題目:刀、矢、葉(仮)W308-1922  寸法:99×66×22

    表に葉と鞘、裏に柄と矢を描く
    青銅塗りの地に錆上げにより刀を裏から表にかけて配す
    刀の柄金具は炭粉石目蒔きの上に銀鈖を蒔き、金平蒔絵を施す
    その他、金粉、朱及び洗朱顔料を使用
    葉は石目肌の上に黒と黄の顔料を蒔く
    蛍には黒漆、朱漆、金粉と貝を使用
    内側は梨地(3~4号)、合口及び上縁は金溜

  • Credit Line:

    Pfungst Gift

  • Museum number:

    W.308-1922

  • Gallery location:

    Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery, case 8

The inro is a container made up of tiers. Japanese men used them because the traditional Japanese garment, the kimono, had no pockets. From the late 1500s onwards, Japanese men wore the inro suspended from their sash by a silk cord and a netsuke (toggle). They originally used it to hold their seal and ink or a supply of medicines. However, it rapidly became a costly fashion accessory of little or no practical use.
This inro is part of a unique set of 12 calendar inro by Shibata Zeshin, each representing a different month of the year. All 12 inro are of a different shape and size, while the decoration is carried out in different lacquer techniques.
Zeshin usually referred to a particular month by depicting some aspect of a popular or religious festival that took place at that time. This inro representing the fifth month depicts the Boys’ Festival (tango no sekku). In order to instill boys with notions of military honour, courage and bravery, toy arms and armour were arranged indoors, while carp and streamers were hung outside. Zeshin’s inro for the fifth month accordingly depicts a toy sword and arrows.
From the 1700s onwards, many artists signed the inro they made. This example is by Shibata Zeshin (1807-91), one of the most talented and renowned lacquer artists of the 19th century. He was head of a successful workshop with an enprmous output.

Physical description

Green, gold, silver, red and black lacquer

Place of Origin

Japan (made)

Date

1865 (made)

Artist/maker

Shibata Zeshin, born 1807 - died 1891 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Green, gold, silver, red and black lacquer

題目:刀、矢、葉(仮)W308-1922  寸法:99×66×22

表に葉と鞘、裏に柄と矢を描く
青銅塗りの地に錆上げにより刀を裏から表にかけて配す
刀の柄金具は炭粉石目蒔きの上に銀鈖を蒔き、金平蒔絵を施す
その他、金粉、朱及び洗朱顔料を使用
葉は石目肌の上に黒と黄の顔料を蒔く
蛍には黒漆、朱漆、金粉と貝を使用
内側は梨地(3~4号)、合口及び上縁は金溜

Dimensions

Height: 10.0 cm, Width: 2.1 cm, Depth: 2.1 cm

Descriptive line

Inro (one of a set of twelve), depicting a toy sword and arrows in gold, silver, red and black lacquer on a dark green lacquer ground imitating a stone surface, by Shibata Zeshin, dated 1865

Materials

Lacquer

Subjects depicted

Sword; Arrows

Categories

Accessories; Containers; Lacquerware

Collection

East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.