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.

Antique Japanese Lacquered Imperial Gift Box

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1920: Item # 1485958
The Kura
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23 Murasakino Monzen-cho
Kita-ward Kyoto 603-8216
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An exquisite lacquered box covered in gold powder prominently bearing the imperial crest given as a gift to Baron Nakamura Satoru in Meiji 44 (1911). According to the inside of the lid this box was created for the Meiji emperor and given in gratitude to the Baron for his support in creating the Keanfu memorial for fallen soldiers of the Russo-Japanese war. The box is an exquisite example of Imperial splendor featuring leaves tinged with kiri-gane gold inlay over powdered gold on a surface dusted with gold and blue-gold powder. It is 20.5 x 24.5 x 13.5 cm (10 x 8 x 5-1/2 inches) and in perfect condition.
Baron Nakamura Satoru (18 March 1854 – 29 January 1925) was a career soldier in the early Imperial Japanese Army, serving during the Russo-Japanese War, and was an aide-de-camp to Emperor Taishō. He was born the second son of a samurai of Hikone (present-day Shiga Prefecture). Joining the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army in July 1871, he was promoted to corporal in November 1873. After attending the Imperial Army Academy, he was commissioned second lieutenant in November 1874. He fought as an officer in the 2nd Brigade during the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877 then was assigned to the Imperial Army General Staff Office from March 1879. After promotion to Major he became a battalion commander with the 10th Infantry Regiment. He served as an instructor at the Army Staff College from December 1889. Nakamura was appointed aide-de-camp to the Crown Prince (the future Emperor Taishō) in December 1891, and promoted to lieutenant colonel in September 1892. During the First Sino-Japanese War, he served as Aide-de-camp to the Emperor of Japan from the end of October 1894 and was promoted to colonel in December of the same year. In April 1897, he was given command of the 46th Infantry Regiment, which served as a garrison force in Taiwan. He was promoted to major general in September 1899. From April 1900, he was chief-of-staff of the military bureau of the Governor-General of Taiwan. In March 1902, Nakamura was assigned command of the 2nd Brigade, which deployed to Manchuria in March 1904 as part of the Japanese Third Army at the start of the Russo-Japanese War. The unit served with distinction during the Battle of Nanshan. During the Siege of Port Arthur Nakamura led a force named the Shirodasukitai, after the distinctive white tasuki used for visibility and identification in the darkness of a pre-dawn attack. The Shirodasukitai assaulted the Russian fortifications three times, taking great casualties. Nakamura was himself wounded during the assault on the night of 26 November 1904, during which most of his 4,500 man unit was annihilated with no significant result.
He continued in command positions and in September 1907, he was made a baron (danshaku) in the kazoku peerage system. At the end of December 1908, he was once again Aide-de-camp to the Emperor of Japan. In September 1914, he served as resident-general of the Kwantung Leased Territory. In January 1915, he was promoted to full general. During World War I he was appointed to sit the Supreme War Council in 1917. On his death, he was posthumously awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays.