LIST OF OUR ARTISTS

The ancient Japan was classified by the governing class, manufacturing industry, farmers and business class. The people did not belong to any of these classes had to do something for their living, and what they could do was to use their two hands to make something to use or sell. And this was the beginning of Japanese handcraft community under system of Shijuku, private school at masterís home. This system last for several hundred years till today, though very few left now. The people learnt from his master at the private school are called Shokunin, craftsmen.

Every school has their own skills and initiated the followers into the secret of the skills. I call them artists, but interestingly they donít like to be called artist. Every Shokunin is very proud of his skills and his school but they donít admire those who study at art colleges to get degree to be artists. They would think the people from art colleges know the theories, but donít know the skills. And that might mislead people to think that Shokunin are not easy to get along with.

Todayís Maki-e shi are divided by two sides. One is art for the artís sake organized by Nitten Association giving artists the chances to exhibit their works, while the other is traditional philosophy to train craftsmen to mature their skills for their works supported by Dento Kogei Association. All our Maki-e shi are traditional craftsmen except Mr. Kenji Yamamoto, who is from Nitten.

As foreigners to Japanese, that we could work with Maki-e shi so amicably and enthusiastically is our predestined and we love it and really appreciate it. All our Maki-e shi are very talented and proud of their works for us believing that we are trying to support the art, Maki-e.

   
  Signature (Real name)
   
Kazushi (Kazushi Kaneda)
Born in 1953 in Ishikawa-ken. After 5 years worked in Toyama-ken for engraving, while he began to send his works to participate in major exhibitions both Nitten and New Kogeiten every year from 1979 till today accepted countless rewards, while he is teaching at Kanazawa Art College, Shimin Kobo Uruwashi, Kitakukni Shinbun Bunka Center and a few other colleges.
   
   
Hironobu (Hironobu Okazaki)
Born in 1984. He decided to follow his father, Koichiro Okazaki to be Maki-e shi when he was still teen at middle school (7th grade - 9th grade). He entered into Ishikawa High School to major craft and art in 1999. Then he entered into Wajima Urushi Crafts Center in 2002 for another three years. Now, he is working very hard with his father since he came home from the school. That his parents and his wife are all maki-e working together in their house certainly makes other people envious.
   
   
Katsuhiro (Katsuhiro Nishi)
Born in 1955. He lives in Wajima as an excellent artist for more than 38 years now.  We are very fortunate to have him join us to contribute to the art since ten years ago, and we can see his works at Shitsugei Dento Kogeiten, Traditional Urushi Craft Exhibition every year.  He was already appointed to be a “Tokutaisha”, very high honored position at the Traditional Urushi Art Craft Association widely regarded as the most hopeful candidate to be the next National Treasure of Chinkin appointed by the Japanese government. We were fortunately met him in Wajima and discussed with him on Chinkin art and he promised to support us with his talent and hard work on Chinkin.
   
   
Kenji (Kenji Yamamoto)
Title: Member of Gendai Kogei Bijutsu Kyokai. (Modern Craft Art Association) Born in 1964. He started painting when he was only 7, and he began to work on oil paintings a few years later. His oil paintings to Maki-e by following his parents' advice at age 15. He is the only one among our Maki-e artists that works on pieces for the direction of "art for art's sake" and his Maki-e works have been accepted by Nitten each year since 1995 and his achievement to be a member of Gendai Kogei Bijutsu Kyokai, a major organization of artists in Japan was a great one at his age of only 38, five years ago.

   
   
Kogaku (Koichiro Okazaki)
Title: Dento Kogei-shi. Born in 1959.
He learnt Maki-e from a master and was recognized with Kao (authorized monogram) Omote School in 1991 by Kuda Munenori of Sado (Tea ceremony). His works have been accepted by the National Art Exhibition each year since then.



   
   
Kosetsu (Tatsuya Todo)
Born in 1954. 1973 Learnt from Urushi master, Kiichi Ikeda in Kanazawa. 1976 Learnt from Maki-e master Masanori Omote. 1990 Began to exhibit at Japan Traditional Urushi Craft Exhibtion and exhibited every year for 8 years. 1991 Began to exhibit at Ishikawa Traditional Urushi Craft Exhibition and exhibited every year for 8 years also. 1995 He was recognized as a Dento Kogei-shi by the Japanese government. His works were highly recognized and accepted by many other major exhibitions since 1995 until today.
   
   
Masamune (Hakusan Taniguchi)
Born in 1959 in Yamanaka, Ishikawa-ken.
Learnt from Masanori Omote when he was 18.
Start exhibition with his works from 1979 and his Work was kept the art museum Kaga City. He became Dentoh Kogeishi in 1994.
His works are exhibited very often every year since then.



   
   
Masanori (Masanori Omote)
Title: Dento Kogei-shi. Born in 1938.

Mr. Masanori Omote was born in 1938 and learnt from a master Yusei Nakaya when he was 15. He became a free lancer six years later. He received the title of Dento Kogei-shi in 1994 and teaches at Yamanaka Urushi Technical Center since then. He has received many official awards from the government and exhibits with his Maki-e works almost every year at major exhibitions.

   
   
Mayumi (Mayumi Kumano)
Born in 1965.
Learnt from her father, master Sadahisa Kumanoin Wajima, and receive awards at exhibitionseach year since 1995.
 
 
 
 
   
   
Rakkan (Minoru Oohata)
Title: Dento Kogei-shi. Born in 1951.
He learnt Maki-e from late Kashigi Hozo, and modern art from Kakinoki Akira, and became Dento Kogei-shi in 1994. He mainly exhibits at Nihon Sogo Bijutsuten. After spending eight years traveling the world to see different types of arts, his enthusiasm for Urushi art was renewed in the end, and he has stayed in Wajima until today.

   
   
Yuhaku (Masayuki Haria)
Title: Dento Kogai-shi. Born in 1954.
He learnt from master Kasei Yoshida, A Maki-e artist of tea sets mainly used for the tea ceremony in 1977, and he has participaqted in exhibitons each year since 1990, and he Maki-e for us since 2001.



   
   
Yuji (Yuji Ookado)
Title: Dento Kogei-shi. Born in 1961.
He learnt Maki-e from Master Tetsugoro Tetsuya when he was 19 and studied Urushi with Urushi master Nenshu Okado five years later. His works have been accepted by The Japanese Traditional Art Exhibition each year since 1992.


   
   

Yusai (Wakako Todo)
She was born in 1960 in Yamanaka, Ishikawa-ken.
Learnt from her husband, Tatsuya Todo from 1990.
She began to participate in Maki-e exhibitions almost every year from 1993. She works on our Maki-e pens since 2001 till today.