Cover Graphics

Mokutai (wood) lacquer ware (replica)
From the Itoku ruins, Tosa, Kochi Prefecture
Late Jomon Period (main collection)

高知県土佐市居徳遺跡出土 縄文時代晩期(本館蔵)

The National Museum of Japanese History has been taking advantage of every possible occasion to produce replicas of notable lacquer-ware artifacts uncovered at various ruins. This is one such replica, produced using infrared and x-ray analysis techniques. The piece is currently on display in Gallery 1 of the permanent exhibition. The entire outer surface of this piece, which is the cover for a large receptacle, is painted with lacquer upon which a pattern in red lacquer is drawn. The characteristic shape as well as the pattern, which could almost be regarded as a lacquer painting, go beyond the limits for what is usual for mokutai lacquer ware in the Jomon Period. We should fully consider the idea that it might have been made in mainland China. An analysis of the wooden handle of a hoe found nearby using the carbon 14-dating technique has revealed that the artifacts date back to around 2,800 years from now.


Opening Essay

Special Edition History's First Steps - Urushi (Japanese Lacquer) (Toyohiro Nishimoto )

A Witness to History

A photographic introduction to items from the collection
From the Museum's Collection - The World of Mutant Morning Glories
(Reiji Iwabuchi)

Special Edition: Urushi

Technical and cultural history of urushi (Masaharu Nagashima)
Challenges in the study of the Urushigami monjo (lacquer paper documents) (Tomohiro Furuoya)
Interest in Korean civilization and the acceptance of urushigei (lacquer art) (Takahiro Takahashi)


Western urushi and eastern urushi (Emi Koseto)

Invitation to history - Special exhibition

Accessories for men and women - Art and design from the Edo to Meiji periods (Kaori Hidaka)

Invitation to history - Gallery 1

Regarding a partial change in "The Dawn of Japanese Civilization" exhibition (Toyohiro Nishimoto and Hideji Harunari)

Introducing our Researchers - Part 2

My Research Style (Kazuki Takahashi )

Book Introduction by the authors

"The Wa-jin (Japanese) as seen in the San-kuo-chi (Chinese historical romance of the Three Kingdoms) - Archaeology of the Gishi Wajinden (a section of the Wei Chronicle) " edited by Hiromi Shitara
"Japanese Art No.427 - Japanese lacquer ware overseas, part 2 (18th-19th centuries)" written and edited by Kaori Hidaka

Book Review

"Castles and Unification under the Empire" edited by Yoshihiro Senda and Michihiro Kojima Reviewed by Nobuhiro Shimomura

Exhibition Review(20th Anniversary of the National Museum of Japanese History)

"Ancient Japan: Landscape with Writing - From the golden seal to the Shoso-in archives" A Summary of the World of Ancient Writing Reviewed by Shinya Ohashi

Rekihaku Chat (readers' page) July 20, 2002

Rekihaku News