『松帆掛舟蒔絵鞍』”Matsuho Kakefune Makie Saddle”


In addition, I will continue to post Maki-e saddles(Taka-Makie). In the old lacquer work, there are many flowers and birds, but it is a little unusual for the motif to be a boat.

製造年代 Period of manufacture所蔵先 Ownership
江戸時代 Edo period東京国立博物館 Tokyo National Museum


This is also exhibited in the exhibition room of “Samurai Attire” in the main building of the Tokyo National Museum, like the Makie saddle posted in the previous post. It is not a permanent exhibition, and it may not be possible to see it due to the replacement of exhibits.

「舟」というモチーフ “Boat” motif


Of course, in Japan, an island country surrounded by the sea, the existence of boats was familiar.


It is said that there are many types of boats used in the patterns. ↓

  • 「竜頭鷁首(りゅうとうげきしゅ)」の舟”Ryutougekishu” boat
  • 帆掛け舟 Sailing boat
  • 苫舟(とまぶね)”Toma-bune” boat
  • 荷足船(にたりぶね)”Nitari-bune” Cargo ship
  • 宝船 “Takara-bune” Treasure ship
  • 南蛮船”Nanban-sen” Early European ships
  • 唐船”Kara-fune”Chinese ship

★ What is the "Ryutougekishu" boat?
A magnificent boat with a carved dragon's head and a waterfowl's head on the bow. It is said that the aristocrats mainly enjoyed floating in the pond.
The boat itself is said to have come from China (Tang).


★A “Nitari-bune (cargo ship)” is a Japanese-style ship used to carry luggage in rivers that have been used in Japan for a long time.


★ The “Treasure Ship” is said to be a ship on which the Seven Lucky Gods are loaded with treasure. In Japan, it is also famous as a lucky charm for the New Year.


There is a superstition that if you put this picture of the treasure ship under the pillow on New Year 2 and sleep, you can have a good dream. As for the date, the legend varies depending on the area, such as the evening of New Year’s Eve and the New Year. From the Edo period to the Meiji period, there was also a “(Takara-bune uri) treasure ship seller” who sold pictures of this “Takara-bune (treasure ship)”.


And it seems that the ship was a motif of wishes in the sense of “putting disaster on the ship and letting it flow”.


Next, the Nanban ships that arrived from the end of the Muromachi period to the Momoyama period are often depicted in Japanese art such as the Nanban folding screen. This Nanban ship has a large hull, and the shape of the sail and rudder is unusual, so it seems that it was the subject of the pattern.


As the name suggests, this Makie ship is a “sail boat”. However, the expression of sails may have been based on the Nanban ship. (It’s just a guess)

高蒔絵 Taka-Makie


It took some time for this Maki-e saddle to be recognized as a boat at first glance. The stirrup was easier to recognize the boat.


If you take a closer look, the sail of the ship on the saddle is drawn as if the center is fluttering and swelling in the wind.


For the sails, “Kaki-wari” and “Taka-Makie” technique are used together. “Kaki-wari” is a lacquer work technique that expresses contour lines and lines by drawing patterns on a surface-by-face basis. If you use the Hira-Makie technique that uses only “Kaki-wari”, leave some space between the faces of the pattern, apply it, and sow it. (“Kaki描き”=drawing, “wari割り”=divide in English)


However, when it comes to Taka-Makie work, there is a gap to make the pattern more raising the height. In other words, draw first inside the final line, then apply urushi over it again. The more you stack, the more urushi will try to get in between (→ the groove will be filled) due to surface tension until it dries, so be careful.


And this sail is bicolored with alternating gold and silver. Gold and silver have slightly different softness when polishing, so they are also arranged alternately, but I think that it is a difficult arrangement when polishing.


In addition, a pine tree is drawn on the sail with a Taka-Makie work. The height of the pine part is raised so as not to damage the gold powder and silver powder sown on the sail, and the Maki-e work is done, so this is also difficult. As explained in the post, sharpen the raised part. You have to be careful around you when sharpening.

(参考過去投稿 Reference past posts:「高蒔絵」の「高上げ」について About “Taka-age” of “Taka-Makie“)


And since Maki-e work proceeds by considering the structure of the cross section, the lacquer artist thinks about various design drawings of the design. Also, the gold powder used is slightly different in gold color depending on the size and shape of the powder, so that is also a point to consider.


It’s interesting to see old works and to disassemble the blueprints of old people.

平目粉 Hirame-fun


What I noticed on this sailboat this time was a large Hirame-fun powder. In this work, gold Hirame-fun powder is used luxuriously.


The large Hirame-fun is lined up on the rope part of the sail. Each grain is pasted along the curved surface of the Taka-Makie work of the sail. Gold is soft, so I think it was bent and pasted according to the curved surface. In addition, Hirame-fun smaller than the hand rope is pasted along the lines between the sails. Every detail is elaborate.

(参考過去投稿 Reference past post : 金粉について About gold powder


By the way, placing Hirame-fun in this way without sprinkling is called “Oki-hirame”. Hirame-fun is a thick powder, so if it is large, it will be picked up and used one by one.


A square “Kiri-kane” is used for the cloud part. This is a gold plate cut into squares and pasted. This is a technique called “Kirikane” that has continued since the Kamakura period. It was widely used during the Muromachi period and became the main method of Maki-e work. The “Kiri-kane” has a bright golden color, so even if it is small, it is relatively noticeable.


And I think that it is the power of lacquer that the Hirame-fun that has been pasted remains firmly even after this era. Most modern adhesives are made of resin or rubber, but after several decades, the adhesive dries and deteriorates.


When I was standing as a salesperson at a stationery store, many customers brought old stationery. Among them, the adhesive was dry, deteriorated and peeled off, and there were many writing tools that had to be repaired. It is very common in the ones about 20 to 30 years ago. In other words, I was aware that modern adhesives have that degree of decay resistance.


However, when I encountered lacquer and went to see this saddle-like cultural property, I realized the greatness of lacquer’s adhesive ability.


All the photographs of the works introduced this time could be taken at the Tokyo National Museum.


Maki-e saddle, I would be grateful if you could take a look.

参考文献 References


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