Chinkin - Ornamental Beauty Created by the Art of Carving

HOME > Main Menu > Great Chinkin Masters


Great Chinkin Masters

Fujii Kanbun

1888-1973

Fujii Kanbun was born in Wajima and his real name was Tokuichi. His family ran a lacquerware manufacturing and selling business. He studied under the tuition of the third Hashimoto Sasuke and pursued both a lacquer and painting career. He studied under the tuition of a renowned Japanese-style painter, Kawai Gyokudo. His paintings were accepted into the Japan Art Academy Exhibition as well as into the Teiten Exhibition. In the Art and Craft division, his work was accepted into the Shin-Bunten Exhibition in 1938 for the first time, and he won a special commendation the Nitten Exhibition in 1946. His work was accepted into the third Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition in 1956 for the first time. He won the Cultural Properties Protection Committee Chairman Award in 1964 and the Japan Art Crafts Association Prime Minister Award in 1965. He became a permanent member of the Japan Art Crafts Association. Out of all the Chinkin carving techniques he excelled especially in Katakiri carving. He expressed his own world by very expressive brush flow, eminent observation and design composition.

List of Works

  • Folding screen with a carved chrysanthemum design
  • Cake plate with a Chinkin flower design in Katagiri-bori
  • Letter box with a Chinkin clematis design in Katagiri-bori
  • Fan-shaped panel with a Chinkin design of fifty-three Tokaido stations in Katagiri-bori
  • Single-leaf screen with design of peacocks in Katagiri-Chinkin
  • Small cabinet with design of squirrels in Katagiri-Chinkin
  • Shelf with design of sea gulls in Katagiri-Chinkin
  • Cabinet with design of cranes in Katagiri-Chinkin
  • Box with design of spring and autumn flowers in Katagiri-Chinkin

Mae Taiho

1880-1977

Mae Taiho was born in Wajima and his real name was Tokuji.
He became an apprentice to the third Hashimoto Sasuke in the field of Chinkin. He also studied under the tuition of a painter, Maki Kazutomo to learn painting and design. His work was accepted into the third Teiten Exhibition in 1929 for the first time, and won a special commendation in 1930. His work also won a special commendation at the second Nitten Exhibition in 1946. He developed new modes of expression by adding more creativity to the conventional Chinkin technique; dot carving that gives a three-dimensional effect and the katakiri-bori technique that suggests the flow of calligraphy brushwork. He raised Chinkin craft to the level of art and in 1955 was made an Important Intangible Cultural Property in Chinkin (Living National Treasure). He participated in founding the Japan Art Crafts Association and became one of its directors. He also became a lecturer at the Ishikawa Prefectural Institute of Wajima Lacquer Arts (the running was transferred to Ishikawa Prefecture in 1972) and became the first chairman of the Wajima Lacquer Techniques Preservation Committee in 1977, thus contributing to the teaching of young craftsmen.

List of Works

  • Chopstick case with a Chinkin peony and arabesque design
  • Tea caddy with a Chinkin arrowroot design
  • Black tea set container with a carved bamboo design
  • Decorative tray with a Chinkin crabgrass design
  • Black case with a carved flower design
  • Ornamental box with a Chinkin waterside design
  • Large plate with a Chinkin cat design
  • Panel with a Chinkin design of white-eyed birds in a plum tree
  • Panel with a Chinkin rabbit design
  • Ornamental tray with a Chinkin line and violet design
  • Tray with a Chinkin early evening moon design
  • Flat tea caddy with a Chinkin young bird design
  • Writing box with a pair of cranes in Chinkin
  • Box with design of cat in Chinkin as "Kehai (a sense of someone approaching)"
  • Black sake cup rinsing bowl with a carved gold fish and seaweed design
  • Five tiered box with design of peonies in Tame-nuri and line curving.
  • Box with design of peonies in Chinkin
  • Cosmetic box with design of grassy lane at garden in Chinkin
  • Decorated box with design of flower bed in Chinkin
  • Tray coated black lacquer with design of crane eating pine leaves

Mitani Goichi

1919 to present

Mitani Goichi was born in Wajima and retained his original name. He became an apprentice to Warabi Bushu in 1933 and studied under the tutelage of Mae Taiho in 1940. His work was accepted into the 5th Shin-Bunten Exhibition for the first time in 1942, and won the Hokuto Award in 1970. He won the Prime Minister Award in the Japan Modern Craft and Art Exhibition in 1985, and the Art Academy Award in 1988. He creates a unique world by making full use of the dot carving technique and by using mellow color tones. He became the chairman of the Wajima Lacquer Techniques Preservation Committee in 1999 and a member of the Japan Art Academy in 2002.

List of Works

  • Box with a Chinkin flounder design
  • Decorative panel entitled "Shu"
  • Decorative panel entitled "Seashells and Birds"
  • Decorative panel entitled "Figures, birds and shells"
  • Decorative panel entitled "Dawn"
  • Decorative panel entitled "Sea Breeze"
  • Decorative paned entitled "Flight"
  • Decorative panel entitled "Moonlit Field"
  • Decorative panel entitled "Sky and Clouds"
  • Decorative panel entitled "Rest"
  • Dish with design of twin fish in Chinkin
  • Incense case with design of bird
  • Poem on the sea

Itaya Koji

1925 to present

Itaya Koji was born in Wajima and became an apprentice to Morishita Kodo in 1945 and to Mae Taiho in 1949. His work was accepted into the 4th Nitten Exhibition for the first time in 1948. After his work was accepted into the 13th Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition for the first time in 1966, he continued exhibiting in the same exhibition. He won the Education Minister Award at the 35th Japan Traditional Craft Exhibition in 1988. He is good at very delicate work as well as in the Subori carving technique, producing exciting work. He became a permanent member of the Japan Art Crafts Association in 1969, and a member of the Wajima Lacquer Techniques Preservation Association in 1977.


Kadono Iwaji

1925 to present

Kadono Iwaji was born in Wajima and he became an apprentice to his uncle, Makino Seikichi, who was a Chinkin craftsman. His work was accepted into the 6th Nitten Exhibition for the first time in 1950 and won a special commendation in the 8th Shin-Nitten Exhibition in 1965. He won the Prime Minister Award in the 17th Nitten Exhibition in 1985 and the Prime Minister Award in the Japan New Craft Exhibition in 1982. He is good at inlay work and his works are both dynamic and delicate, producing a profound level of expression. He is also a judge of the Nitten Exhibition.

List of Works

  • Tune of early spring (Two-fold screen)
  • Decorative dish with design of the shimmering of the air with inlay
  • Morning Moon (Two-fold screen)

Mae Fumio

1940 to present

Mae Fumio was born in Wajima and after studying Japanese-style painting at the Kanazawa College of Art, he learned Chinkin under the tutelage of Mae Taiho, a holder of an Important Intangible Cultural Property in Chinkin (Living National Treasure) from 1964. His work was accepted into the Japan Traditional Craft Exhibition for the first time in 1968 and he later won the Education Ministry Award in the same exhibition, the Prime Minister Award in the Japan Art Crafts Association and the Important Intangible Cultural Property Holder's Award. He has carried out research into Chinkin chisels himself, even to the extent of developing his own unique shapes. Various Chinkin techniques are used comprehensively throughout his works. His works express his own delicate and expressive style with outstanding Chinkin technique. He was made an Important Intangible Cultural Property in Chinkin (Living National Treasure) in 1999. He also contributes to the technical training in lacquerware at the Ishikawa Prefectural Institute of Wajima Lacquer Arts.

List of Works

  • Lacquered box with a Chinkin spring day design
  • Lacquered box with a Chinkin design entitled "Hoshun"
  • Writing paper box with a Chinkin morning sun design
  • Box with a Chinkin design entitled "Bamboo Grove"
  • Box decorated with Chinkin "Autumn screen (Japanese bush clover)"

HOMEAbout This SiteSite MapDIGITAL ARCHIVES OF ISHIKAWA JAPAN