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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1999 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lacquered wood

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Ishira Hiroshi

  • Museum number:

    FE.134:1 to 3-2002

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Imported from Song Dynasty China (960-1279), Kamakurabori is a unique and elegant form of lacquer carving that developed in Japan during the Kamakura period (1185-1333). This magnificent art form, introduced by Chinese Buddhist priests, appealed to the Kamakura Shoguns and is still produced by traditional craftsmen in Kamakura today. Items such as this box illustrate the intricacy of the technique as wood was painstakingly carved, coated in numerous layers of lacquer and then polished to create an elegant composition. Production requires precise planning to avoid any mistakes and is a craft that requires great expertise. Modern pieces such as this plate crafted by Ishira Hiroshi in 1999 maintain and innovate the traditional styles of Kamakurabori, a craft that was nearly destroyed after the Second World War. This piece modernises the technique bringing it into the 21th century due to its sleek blend of black and brown lacquer in a simplistic design together with its curved patternation.

Physical description

Kamakura-bori plate, entitled 'Refrain', in storeage box.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


1999 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Lacquered wood


:, Height: 5 cm, Length: 41 cm, Width: 31 cm

Descriptive line

Kamakura-bori plate, entitled 'Refrain', carved and lacquered wood, in storeage box, by Ishira Hiroshi, Japan, 1999








East Asia Collection

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