The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures
Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
In accordance with the requests of local authorities our Kyoto gallery will be closed to visitors from April 14th until further notice.
All Items : Artists : Mixed Media : Contemporary item #1426510 (stock #MOR7880)
The Kura
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Nagakura Kenichi's artwork is imbued with a primal energy and balance executed with a keen understanding of composition. Each piece combines classic Japanese bamboo basketry techniques with a contemporary artist's sensibility. He steps outside traditional limitations of form, function and material, challenging our concept of customary bamboo. The transition from container to sculpture is further explored in this piece, with expressive curves and a lack of any definable shape. This earth encrusted style is perhaps the most easily identifiable in his oeuvre; a technique pioneered and unique to him. The amorphic form is 36 x 30 x 26 cm (14 x 12 x 10 inches) and in excellent condition. Light intermingling from various angles through the organic sculpture creates a dramatic, contemplative atmosphere.
Nagakura Kenichi (1952-2018) treated bamboo as a purely sculptural medium. He creates unconventional, organic forms, sometimes accented with pieces of found wood and coated with finishes of his own creation. Nagakura spent years learning traditional bamboo techniques from his grandfather before innovating his own style. Bamboo, says the artist, is an ideal material to express nature: “Bamboo can be either delicate like a spider web or solid as stone, thus embodying the natural cycles of the world.”. Bamboo Sculptures and baskets are held the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Mint Museum of Craft in North Carolina, and in the National Gallery of Victoria, among others.
All Items : Artists : Folk Art : Contemporary item #1433351 (stock #MOR7994)
The Kura
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A dark bamboo basket offering various plating techniques and a nice contrast between the flat angular bamboo handle and round tamasudare weave of the body signed on the base Chikubisai and enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 25 cm diameter, 32 cm tall and is in excellent condition.
Ishida Masaichi (Chikubisai II) was born in Kyoto in 1934, and learned the art of basketry under his father Chikubisai I. His work has been exhibited throughout his long career, garnering more than fifty awards including the Mayors prize at the Kyoto Municipal Bamboo Art Exhibition. He has helped to inspire and foster subsequent generations of bamboo artist from his positions at Seika University and at TASK (the Kyoto Traditional Craft School) where he has taught since its inception.
All Items : Artists : Metalwork : Pre 2000 item #1434459 (stock #MOR8009)
The Kura
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Bonji Buddhist characters in five rings of silver, gold and brass damascene decorate this Incense burner by Izumi Ryoichi enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Kin-do Gorin-mon Koro. We see the number five in Buddhism and Bushido, With the elements Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Air, as well the famous treatise on fighting by Miyamoto Musashi is called the Book of Five Rings, and the stone stupa seen all over Japan called the Gorinto (Five part tower). This is 3-1/2 inches (9 cm) diameter, roughly the same height and in excellent condition, signed Ryuichi on the base.
Just to make everything really confusing, the metal artist Izumi Ryuichi goes by a plethora of names, depending upon the genre he is creating for, Izumi Ryoichi, Ryusen, Koshiro. He was born in Iwate in 1946, apprenticing under metal craftsman Fujiwara Tomohiko at the age of 20. 10 years later he would study metal carving techniques under Katsura Moriyuki, and then under Living National Treasures Sekiya Shiro and Kashima Ikkoku at the age of 36, absorbing techniques and styles all along the way. Thanks to his dedication to the craft he was chosen to take part in the restoration and reproduction of the National Treasure 8 sided Buddhist stand of Chusonji Temple in 1990, the following year the production of a mirror for Ise Shrine, the most holy site in Japan. Throughout the Heisei era he has been on the restoration team of any number of important works of art in the Imperial Household Collection, various museums in Japan as well as the pair of Nanban Screens in the collection for the Cleveland Art Museum, His work has been awarded at the Nihon Dento Kogei Ten Traditional Crafts Exhibition and Nihon Kinko Ten National Metal Art Exhibition as well as the Dento Kogei Shinsaku Ten New Traditional Crafts Exhibition among others
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Okimono : Pre 1980 item #1415275 (stock #MOR7053)
The Kura
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A serene image of the Goddess of Mercy Kannon found in a natural black stone from the Seta River inset into a hand carved hard-wood base and enclosed in a kiri-wood collectors box titled simply Setagawa-ishi (Seta River Stone). 19.5 cm (7-3/4 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1980 item #1418930 (stock #MOR7100)
The Kura
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Sakura blossoms begin to open among the draping branches of a weeping willow soughing in the breeze on this beautiful lacquer box by Inami Kirokusai enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Wajima Nuri Soshun Maki-e Suzuri Bako (Ink Stone Box of Early Spring Design from Wajima). The design is performed over highly polished black, the interior in nashiji with pine saplings in raised design around the ink stone and water dropper. It is 24.5 x 13 x 3 cm (10 x 5 x 1-1/2 inches) and in excellent condition.
The four generations of the Inami family spanning the Meiji to contemporary were the subject of a major retrospective at the Ishikawa Wajima Lacquer Museum in 2013.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1980 item #1424365 (stock #TCR7854)
The Kura
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A fabulous Koro covered in damascened gold by Ibuse Keisuke enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Nunome Zogan Jungin Koro (Damascene Pure Silver Incense Burner). It is 11 cm (4-1/2 inches) tall, 9.5 cm (3-3/4 inches) diameter and in excellent condition.
Ibuse Keisuke was born in Tokyo in 1930, and began his studies of metal arts in 1950 under Unno Takeo. By the late fifties he was exhibiting with the Kofukai (where he would later be awarded) as well as the Nitten National Art Exhibition, and in the early sixties would begin exhibiting at the Gendai Kogeiten Modern Crafts Exhibition. In 1974 he would be awarded at the Dento Kogei Shinsaku Ten (New Traditional Crafts Exhibition), and in ’76 at the Dento Kogei Musashino Ten, followed by awards at the Dento Kogei Kinko Shinsaku Ten and Dento Kogei Ten with his work being collected by the Imperial Household Agency in 1981. The following years Hiroshima Prefectural Museum, Fukuyama Museum as well as again The Imperial Household Agency would purchase pieces for their permanent collections.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Dolls : Pre 1980 item #1428824 (stock #MOR7916)
The Kura
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A lovely genuine full sized Bunraku theater puppet of a mature female character dressed in a blue silk kimono with elagent head dress. The doll is fully mobile, controlled from within by switches on her neck and poles extending from her arms. The hands are flexible as seen in the photos. She stands almost 4 feet (117 cm) tall, and comes complete with a bamboo display stand as pictured. All is in excellent condition, with a few stray hairs in her coiffure. This will be the first we have had the opportunity to offer online in quite sometime.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Dolls : Pre 1980 item #1428858 (stock #MOR7917)
The Kura
Sale Pending
This is a genuine Bunraku theater puppet kashira representing the character of a young woman. It is not a souvenir. She wears her hair in an immaculate coiffure held with an unpretentious matching lacquer Kushi and Kogai (comb and Pinion) as well as a hair-pin. The head comes with the wood stand shown. There is a toggle on the neck for raising and lowering her chin as well as for opening and closing the eyes. On the stand as pictured, the presentation is 12 inches (30 cm) high. The actual head (with hair) is about 8 inches (20 cm) tall. All is in excellent condition.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1980 item #1429794 (stock #TCR7936)
The Kura
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A very unusual Incense Burner in the shape of an origami crane enclosed in the original artist signed wooden box. The piece is of white clay covered in red with genuine applied gold and is in excellent condition. It is 20.5 x 10 x 15 cm (8 x 4 x 5-1/2 inches) and is in excellent condition. This is by the second generation Sawamura Tosai of Kyoto (d. 1994). 
All Items : Artists : Metalwork : Pre 1980 item #1434455 (stock #MOR8008)
The Kura
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A very unusual hand beaten architectural vase by important post-war metal artist Mitsui Asoo enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 40 cm (16 inches) tall, 18 cm (7 inches) wide and in excellent condition.
Mitsui Yasoo was born in Sano City, Tochigi prefecture North of Tokyo in 1910. He graduated the metal crafts department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1933, and was first accepted into the Teiten National Exhibition the following year. He would subsequently exhibit with the Shin Bunten, Nihon Gendai Kogeiten Modern Crafts Exhibition, and Nitten where he would receive the Hokutosho prize in 1953 and 1955, the beginnings of a long list of awards received over his lifetime. He accepted a professorship in his alma matter in 1963, where he helped to shape the subsequent generations of metal artists. From 1971 he would serve as head of the Japanese Metal Artists Society (Nihon Kinkosakka Kyokai). He retired from the University in 1978, and died in 1999. Work by him is held in the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts as well as the Tokyo University of Art Museum. For more see: Expansion of Hammerd Work, Mitsui Asoo and Followers (1993).
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1980 item #1435922 (stock #TCR8013)
The Kura
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The more you look the more you see, dozens if not hundreds of scholarly figures blend into the white mist drifting through the forest on this large vase by Seifu Yohei V. At first one sees rocks and boulders among the pines, only to realize that in fact each has a cherubic face! The playful crew seem to occupy every ounce of space not previously taken by a branch or boulder. The vase is 27 cm (11 inches) diameter, 31 cm (12 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
Born into the 5th generation of the illustrious Seifu family Seifu Yohei V (1921-1990) was handed the reins upon his father’s illness and death in the wake of the Japanese capitulation ending World War II. He was just 25 years old, trained in the family tradition of Chinese and carved pottery styles, as well as having studied literati painting under Tanomura Shochiku. Struggling to regain solubility in those desperate times, he became disillusioned, and after losing the family kiln in the re-development of the Gojo-zaka pottery district, he left the ceramics world for a while, delving into the two dimensional realms of painting. With the encouragement of friend Tsukinowa Yusen, he re-entered the ceramic arena with a new vision, combining his painterly tradition with that of the potter, creating vivid, colorful pots or sculpted works such as this with dramatic landscapes populated by literati figures, sages, saints and deities.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1980 item #1435923 (stock #ALR8014)
The Kura
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A dramatic performance by eccentric Zen Priest Kasumi Bunsho with a pale wet circle filled with a splash of black ink by Kasumi Bunsho enclosed in the original signed wooden box dated Spring of 1988. Ink on paper in gray silk extended with black and featuring black lacquer wooden rollers. The scroll is 51.5 x 131 cm (20 x 51-1/2 inches) and is in excellent condition.
Kasumi Bunsho (1905-1988) was a prolific calligrapher, to say he was fond of the brush would be an understatement. Born in Gifu, he became head priest of Kaiseiji (formerly headed by Nakahara Nantenbo 1839-1925) in 1943, at that time closed, and re-opened the temple in 1949. If you have ever been inside you will marvel, Bunsho has covered all surfaces with calligraphy, mostly written directly onto the wooden beams and earthen walls. In 1990 he was appointed Abbot of Myoshinji Temple. He also used the names Dainan, Nan-in, Nanyo and Katsuun. He was strongly influenced by both Nantenbo and Kutsu Deiryu from whom he received Inka. The influence of Deiryu on this Enso is most clear. Both Deiryu and Bunsho brushed calligraphy or imagery into the center of their Enso, the circle itself written in pale, thin ink.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Baskets : Pre 1980 item #1436467 (stock #MOR8038)
The Kura
$965.00
An anonymous wagumi (Japanese weave) Mingei basket of flattened bamboo interspersed with bamboo root. It is 27.5 cm (11 inches) diameter, 40 cm (16 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1980 item #1436601 (stock #TCR8041)
The Kura
$1,950.00
A modern shaped censerby Kiyomizu Rokubei VI with hand formed silver lid by Muneyoshi enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Hoya Tsuki Sen-mon Koro. I believe that this is the Muneyoshi who was one of the top silver smiths working under the famous Takase Kozan, he made silver koro lids for many of the top artists in Kyoto, including Rokubei and Kusube Yaichi. The Koro is 11 cm (4-1/2 inches) diameter and is in perfect condition. These shaped lids were made consistently throughout the 60s and 70s by Muneyoshi for Rokubei, and a koro with the same shape dating to 1965 is published (figure 10) in the book Rokudai Kiyomizu Rokubei Ten (1989).
The Kiyomizu family potters managed one of the most productive workshops in Kyotos Gojozaka district throughout the second half of the Edo period. From the Meiji they began producing tableware for export and special pieces for government-sponsored exhibitions under Rokubei IV. Rokubei V led the kiln into the 20th century, and his son, Rokubei VI (1901-1980), would assume lead in 1945, taking the kiln through the tumultuous years after the Second World War. He graduated the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, then the Kyoto Special School of Painting, before apprenticing under his father in 1925. He exhibited frequently and was often prized at the National Bunten, Teiten and Nitten Exhibits, where he later served as judge. He was also lauded abroad, in the USSR, France, Italy, Belgium and was appointed a member of the Japan Art Academy. In 1976 he was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit for his lifelong devotion to promoting Japanese pottery traditions. His works are held in numerous museums throughout the globe.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1970 item #1429540 (stock #MOR7932)
The Kura
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Exquisite Japanese Murashido bronze vase in mottled red with flecks of olive by Hara Naoki enclosed in the original signed kiri-wood box. It is quite large at 13 inches (33 cm), and in that mid century tradition, relies solely on elegance of form over overt decoration. This likely dates from his most productive period in the post war era, when he sought to revive a flagging tradition from his position as mentor to a younger generation. It is in excellent condition.
Hara Naoki (1906-1994) was born the son of bronze worker Hara Choshu in in Kashiwasaki city. He studied under Katori Hozuma, and went on to graduate the Tokyo University of Fine Art in 1933. He exhibited and later served as juror at the Nitten National Exhibition and fostered future generations of artists from his position at Niigata University. Due to illness he was forced to retire in 1978, and was granted the Order of Cultural Merit the following year for his life’s endeavors.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1970 item #1434290 (stock #MOR8003)
The Kura
$650.00
A large and beautifully patinated hand formed Murashido bronze vase of smooth lobed form with evident hammer dimples on the shoulder creating depth enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 31 cm (12 inches) tall and in excellent condition. The play of colors across the surface is created with various natural chemical compounds while the metal is hot.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1960 item #1414446 (stock #L151)
The Kura
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Scratches of ink form a precipitous landscape of jagged mountains on the paper surface of this scroll performed by Fujii Tatsukichi enclosed in a wooden box titled: Painted by the elder Tatsu, One Scroll, Mountain, Annotated by Eichi. It is framed in a silk border terminating in black lacquered rollers. It is 13-1/2 x 59 inches (34 x 149 cm) and is in excellent condition.
Kato Eichi (1899-1987) was a potter from Seto who trained under Tatsukichi. Several pieces by him formerly in the collection of Tatsukichi are now held in the Aichi Prefectural Museum.
Fujii Tatsukichi (1881-1964) could be considered the father of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the modern concept of design as an art form in Japan, and most certainly an artist not to be defined by one medium. He was born in Hekinan city, Aichi prefecture near Nagoya. He was, along with Kishida Ryusei, Saito Yori and Takamura Kotaro, a founding member of Hyuzan-kai in 1912, the first organization in Japan dedicated to Expressionism in all forms through all mediums. He was one of the most important reformers of the traditional arts in Japan and a pioneer of the modern craft world. His creativity touched nearly every area: embroidery, dyeing, weaving, lacquer, pottery, papermaking, metalwork, woodwork, Painting, calligraphy, woodblock carving and printing. In the 1920s he wrote articles on home crafts for Fujin no Tomo, one of the most widely read women’s magazines of the day. He also held the first professorship of design at the Imperial Art School (mod. Musashino Art University), and his influence was enormous. The museum of contemporary art in Tatsukichi’s birth place, Hekinan, is named after him. In 1932 he established a studio in Obara, where he headed the movement to reinvent the Japanese craft paper industry. That studio (Mufuan) has been moved and is now used as a tea house by Seto City. A major retrospective on his life work travelled japan in 1996 spearheaded by the Tokyo National Museum, “Fuji Tatsukichi, Pioneer of Modern Crafts”.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1960 item #1416296 (stock #TCR7078)
The Kura
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Ancient script filled with primitive markings decorates this unusual vase signed Tosen enclosed in the original wooden box dated 1959. This is one which perfectly espouses the artistic trends of the post-war era. It is 12 inches (30 cm) tall and in excellent condition.