As soon as we made Mikado, we made another big pen with straight down shape and tried to make with size biggest possible for a hand to hold, and we call it Genkai, the limited. This pen is also uses Eye dropper system. The nib is size #8 with Mikado.



Kogaku was born at Urushi family. His father was painter of screen type of mass produce “Maki-e”, but Kogaku doesn’t like mass produce type of anything and he started learning from his master for 5 years and then learnt Sado from Omote School and he was given title of both. Before I met Kogaku, he was already renown Maki-e artists in Japan by working Maki-e on Citizen’s highest range of watch faces for years and many other jewelry designs. He already Maki-e on Takumi and Grand Trio Pens for me and he did show me big pieces when we have Mikado and Genkai Pens for our high-end designs. He started with GK-1001 Shuten-doji, immediately followed by GK-1003 Sakura Beauties, Kawanakajima-no Kassen and GK-1011, Horaisan. Then he painted so many great pieces such as MK-37 Double Dragons, MK-39, Wind-god vs. Thunder-god, MK-40, Peacock, MK-41, No Evil Monkeys just to name a few.

Kogaku kindly let me know how to appreciate Maki-e pieces in general.

  1. Designs must be good, but this depends on appreciators’ tastes.
  2. Correct choices of techniques at the right places and constantly try to think of new ideas for the designs. On GK-1003, Sakura and Beauties he could have his creative idea to use platinum powders on the scar after a big branch was broken.
  3. The curb lines on the woman, their eyes and hand especially their Kimono were all very carefully drawn. The details on the Kimono are incredible.
  4. The faces of beauties are much harder to paint compared with the faces of Shuten-doji. Gentle beautiful faces are much harder than any angry faces.
  5. He insists always to try to create some new ideas and new technique whenever he starts a new work.

GK-1001, Shuten-doji (Drunkard Devil)


Shuten-doji is one of three famous stories related with Minamoto-no Yorimitsu (944-1021) commonly called Minamoto-no Raiko, a general of Gen-ke (Minamoto clan).
Japanese have many Oni (demon) stories, and one of the most famous stories is Shuten-doji, the drunkard red faced kid, who abducted women, robbed treasures and ate humans at Mt. Oe of Tamba. When he abducted Ikeda Chunagon’s daughter, Ikeda asked Mikado for help. Minamoto-no Raiko was ordered to kill the Oni, and the Oni was beheaded by Raiko and his followers, the Shitenno (Four Devas), Watanabe-no Tsuna, Sakata-no Kintoki, Urabe-no Suetake, and Usui-no Sadamitsu.

In day time Shuten-doji disguised himself as a drunkard kids, but he would appear with his true aspect,15 feet tall, with red head and red body, left leg in black right leg in white, left arm in blue and right arm in yellow with spots in five colors all over, and he had 15 eyes and five horns. When the Oni was beheaded, the head fell and bit Raiko’s helmet. Fortunately, Raiko’s head was protected by three helmets as he knew beforehand and borrowed the helmets from Sakata-no Kintoki as well as Watanabe-no Tsuna.

The Oni’s head were raised and Urushi was painted on it. The dimension was effectively done with different sizes, #6 and #8 of gold foils, and then #10 gold powders were heavily sprinkled followed by red Urushi painted. Two different shells were used on the eyes, and the hairs were Tsukegaki (drawing with more gold and make lines look raised) with #6 gold powder and Keuchi(Additional gold lines were drawn on the surface) with #4 gold powder.

The details on Raiko are amazing. To begin with many times of raised silver mixed powders and gold powders were used before hundreds of Kirigane (rectangular gold foils setting), colored Urushi painted, and Raden were used on the sword, the eyes. And #8 gold powders were used for Tsukegaki all over. The ground use gradation technique and lots of Kirigane. The little Oni on the pole was done by Tsukegaki.

GK-1003, Sakura- Bijin
(Sakura and the Beauties)

I like to take this opportunity to talk about Kogaku, one of our Maki-e master who is working for us for almost 20 years. This Sakukra Beauties were painted between his GK-1001 Shuten-doji and the following Kawanakajima-no Kassen. All these designs took him almost whole year to complete. The details are assiduously layer on layer, point on point. The beauty’s face with Kimono is absolutely gorgeous. The fingers are raised clearly and beautifully with gold lines. And he took so much time to Shell Raden on Sakura one by one even with the fallen petals are meticulously pasted.


GK-1005, Kawanakujima-no Kassen
(The Fight at Kawanakujima)
The duals at Kawanakajima are the most famous fights in Japanese history. The duals between Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen and the most famous part of the duals was the fifth time when Uesugi Kenshin rushed at Shingen’s camp alone on his horse and swung down his atana at his head, but the Katana was stopped by Shingen’s iron ribbed fan. The design was drown by Kogakku has become one of our best sellers in recent years.


GK-1011, Horaisan
Horaisan is an imaginary island of Buddhism. After the death if anyone lived his or her life loved and helped all people, they will be living peacefully on Horaisan in heaven forever.


GK-1012-15, Shiki by Kogaku

This Four Seasons are painted with 4 pens, spring with Sakura, summer with firecracker, autumn with a Deer and Tancho (crane) in Winter mountains. Sakura, Hanabi (firecracker), Deer and Tancho are all Kigo, symbolized seasons in Haiku, the Japanese short poems, a very special Four Season Design by our mater Kogaku (real name Koichiro Okazaki).

GK-1012, Dawn
(Spring of Four Seasons)


GK-1013, Fireworks 
(Summer of Four Seasons)


GK-1014, Deer
(Autumn of Four Seasons)


GK-1015, Cold Mountain and Sacred Cranes
(Winter of Four Seasons)


GK-1042, Admired Phoenix
There was a Phoenix helped millions of birds when they were in disaster of famine and plagues and finally the birds were saved and feel so grateful and admire the Phoenix as their angel.

GK-1001, Shuten-doji (Drunkard Devil)
GK-1003, Sakura- Bijin (Sakura and the Beauties)
GK-1005, Kawanakujima-no Kassen
GK-1011, Horaisan $22,000.00 Kogaku
GK-1012, Dawn (Spring of Four Seasons) $20,000.00 Kogaku
GK-1013, Horaisan (Summer of Four Seasons) $20,000.00 Kogaku
GK-1014, Horaisan (Autumn of Four Seasons) $20,000.00 Kogaku
GK-1015, Horaisan (Winter of Four Seasons) $20,000.00 Kogaku
GK-1042, Admired Phoenix $20,000.00 Kogaku


GK-1019, Komori (Bats)
Some likes the birds, some not. In asia they like the birds because the part of Kanji and sound show good luck or happiess.

GK-1019, Komori (Bats)


There are four Maki-e artists, who are now major Maki-e artists in the circle working on our Maki-e at present, were his students before they became free lancers. His most recent works are the Maki-e on the walls in the main hall of well known Kissho-in temple in Chita City of Aichi prefecture. Omote san work Maki-e for us for more than 5 years, and his masterpieces such as Tokaido series were very well accepted. His recent remarkable works include “Fixed Stars”, “Miyama Enreiso”, “Four Seasons from Ise Monogatari” and of course “Kirin”, he will appear at the coming Washington DC Pen Show with these works. After more than 50 years on Maki-e, he is now one of the very few whose works reach to “collectible level” today.

GK-1002, Kinkakuji & Ginkakuji
(The Pavillions)


Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion was built by the third Shogun of Ashikaga clan, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397 in the northeast of Kyoto. The temple was burnt down a couple of times, and the worst one was happened in 1950 when a young monk set fire on the building and reduced it to ashes. The building we see today was rebuilt in 1955 and renovated in 1987. And the story was fictionalized by Mishima Yukio in later years. The pavilion, a 3-storied temple represents three different architectural styles, Heian, Kamakura and Muromachi era. Kinkakuji is actually gilded on the second and third story with around 100 lbs of pure gold. Ginkakuji, Silver Pavilion was built by Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436-1490), the 8th Ashikaga Shogun and grandson of Ahikaga Yoshimitsu in the late 15th century inspired by the Golden Pavilion. Yoshimasa lived in the temple and enjoyed his life holding Noh plays, tea ceremonies until he died in 1490. The temple was mostly renovated and the original look left very little after that. And yet, the temple is still very impressive with its landscaping and architecture.

GK-1020, Sumo


GK-1023, Shoki-ni Oni (Shoki and the Devil)
Shoki was worshipped as the god of Taoism in China and in Japan his pictures were hang at the wall to be a talisman There were many different stories told about Shoki, some even said Shoki was really existed told by the people in Tang Dynasty (618-907). When the sixth emperor, Shien-Tsuong was sick on his bed and had a dream. There were many imps running around in the palace, but they were all easily eaten by a big devil. When the emperor asked the big devil, who was he. The devil said that his name was Shoki tried to apply for a government official, but the examination was failed. He felt so shame and killed himself in the palace. The emperor, Kaotsu warmly took care of his funeral and therefore he came here today for repaying him for his kindness.

When the emperor woke up and found his illness is gone. He was so moved and asked a famous artist to draw Shoki’s picture, and exactly the picture was Shoki when he dream about him. The story goes on till today and Shoki is celebrated by Chinese as keep off devils. Almost every family has a picture of Shoki in their houses.

Shoki is worshipped by Japanese and many of their houses also have a picture of Shoki. However his image becomes a bit different.


GK-1024, Banri-no Chojo (The Great Wall)
The Great Wall is well known one of the wonders in the world (New 7 Wonder Foundation) the original part were built by the first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huan more than 2000 years ago. Then added by Ming and other regimes, the Wall has 13,171 miles long , longer than the name Wanri Changchen, Ten Thousand Miles Wall in Chinese. The author, Mr. Masanori Omote worked for more than 5 months on this one, really a very good piece.


GK-1025, Toen-no Chikai (The Oath at Toen)


GK-1028, Shunju Soka (Flowers in Spring & Autumn)
Japanese live in mountainous island country, high mountains between the Pacific Ocean and Japan Sea give the country full of colorful four seasons. And Japanese have full of imagination to sing for every different season, every major rivers, mountains, lakes, all different flowers and many things else, given by the nature. This design by Masanori this Ryusui Shunju Soka, Stream in spring and autumn with flowers. His work just makes me feel so cool in my heart.


GK-1029, Chikurin & Tori (Bamboo Bush and Birds)


GK-1044, Nihon Sankei
Nihon Sankei, the three most famous sceneries in Japan, Amano (from top) Miyajima, Matsushima and Ama-no Hashidate.

GK-1002, Kinkakuji & Ginkakuji (The Pavillions)
GK-1020, Sumo $20,000.00 Masanori
GK-1023, Shoki-ni Oni (Shoki and the Devil) $28,000.00 Masanori
GK-1024, Banri-no Chojo (The Great Wall) $28,000.00 Masanori
GK-1025, Toen-no Chikai (The Oath at Toen) $20,000.00 Masanori
GK-1028, Shunju Soka (Flowers in Spring & Autumn) $22,000.00 Masanori
GK-1029, Chikurin & Tori (Bamboo Bush and Birds) $20,000.00 Masanori
GK-1044, Nihon Sankei $18,000.00 Masanori


GK-1026, Rokkaku Monyo
(Hexagon Pattern)


GK-1035, Kuzunoha Kitsune (Fox named Kuzunoha)
Kuzunoha is a name of a white fox. The fox was saved by a noble man Abe No Yasuna who fought the hunter and got hurt with some wounds. In a little while there was a beautiful woman called Kuzunoha come and help him go back to his home. The noble man didn’t know that she was the white fox and they married and Kuzunoha bore him a child. Kuzunoha was noticed by her son that she was indeed a fox and believed that she should go back her home, Shinoda. There is a shrine in Shinoda forest called Shinoda Shrine today. She farewell with Yasuna and her son and told him that he can find her in the forest. Later they went there and saw a beautiful white fox and found that she was the spirit of Shinoda shrine. This story is also played in Kabuki, but the main thing is still just a story of On-Gaeshi, to repay for her narrow escape helped by him, the noble man.


GK-1036, 100 Kids


GK-1045, Nanten Yukeizu (Nandin and Rooster)

This painting of Rooster is originated by Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800) regarded as a unique fantastic artist even today. His works influenced by Ogata Korin in the beginning and eventually created his own style with Doshoku Sai-e, paintings with animals and flowers. His more than 30 master pieces of Doshoku Sai-e helps the Japanese earn abundant in this field of Kachoga, birds and flowers designs.

The author, Kosetsu gave me some design ideas with Jakuchu’s original paintings and we decided to work with ideas about 3 years ago, we finally finished just “Nanten Yukeizu”, Nandin and Rooster today, while we expect a few more this year. The work is very complicated but great!

This design mainly uses Shishiai Togidashi Maki-e by raising with Urushi, sprinkled with powders of pure gold, gold mixed with silver, and gold Hirame, foils. And colored Uruhi were painted for Kona-Gatame, protect the surface. Kona-Gatame is to sprinkle the powders and, and paint Urushi on it after the powders are completely dried to harden the powders to be locked to the Uruhi. Kona-Gatame has to be done on the parts of quality Maki-e. The fine works are also on the surface, which we need to burnish and finish beautifully.

The parts of the birds are raised with charcoal powders and finish with Urushi. The feathers on the birds were taken cared piece by piece by raising the feather clearly separate. Gold powder was sprinkled on the hen and Wakogin (silver) on the rooster. The gold sheet metal were pasted for their eyes. The faces of the birds were carefully painted with colorful Urushi around the eyes.

The leaves and branches of nandin and birds were painted, gold powders were sprinkled with separated by different colors of Uruhi and finished with Kona-Gatame to protect the surface. The red berries used the red part from Turban shells and pasted on and ties on them. The birds and carefully burnished and finish them. The author admitted that he has been tried his best to faithfully followed Jakuchu’s ideas.

GK-1045, Nanten Yukeizu. MSRP US$22,000.00

GK-1026, Rokkaku Monyo (Hexagon Pattern)
GK-1035, Kuzunoha Kitsune (Fox named Kuzunoha) $18,000.00 Kosetsu
GK-1036, 100 Kids $22,000.00 Kosetsu
GK-1036, 100 Kids pen box $6,000.00 Kosetsu
GK-1045, Nanten Yukeizu (Nandin and Rooster) $24,000.00 Kosetsu

GK-1037, Hokusai's Koi


GK-1038, Kinko Sennin


GK-1039, Nishiki-Goi


GK-1040, Koi Ascension


GK-1041, Karasu (Crow)
Unlike Chinese, Japanese like Karasu, crows and very friendly to the birds in their history and the birds are also loved in the western world, are also loved by western world. There is national treasure Maki-e box with crows painted by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), one of the greatest Maki-e shi in Japanese history. I saw the box and immediately ask our Maki-e shi, Kosetsu (Tatsuya Todo) to Maki-e on pens for me as the ones we have now. There are 40 Karasu in total on each pen, one of my most favorite Maki-e in my collections.


GK-1046, Sakura Rose


GK-1047, Sakura Meets Rose

GK-1037, Hokusai's Koi $18,000.00 Kosetsu
GK-1038, Kinko Sennin $18,000.00 Kosetsu
GK-1039, Nishiki-Goi $18,000.00 Kosetsu
GK-1040, Koi Ascension $18,000.00 Kosetsu
GK-1041, Karasu (Crow) $20,000.00 Kosetsu
GK-1046, Sakura Rose
GK-1047, Sakura Meets Rose $42,000.00 Kosetsu


GK-1006, Tsuru-Kame, Crane & Tortoise


GK-1007, Ni-O, Door Gods


GK-1018, Saiyuki (The Journey to the West)

GK-1006, Tsuru-Kame, Crane & Tortoise
GK-1007, Ni-O, Door Gods $18,800.00 Yuji
GK-1018, Saiyuki (The Journey to the West) $16,000.00 Yuji


GK-1021, Katamigawari
(Spring & Winter)


GK-1027, Beauty in the Snow


GK-1034, Four Seasons


GK-1048, Tsuru-no Ongaeshi (Repay by the Crane)
This has a similar story about “Ongaeshi” with GK-1035, Kuzunoha Kitsune. The main difference is that this one is talking about a Crane, while the other is about a white Fox. When the crane was trapped and saved by a farmer, the crane disappeared and there was a beautiful girl came to his home and voluntarily offer her help. The farmer’s couple were delighted to let her stay with them. One day the girl ask the farmer to buy some cloth for her to make some wears for the couple because the weathers are changing. However, the girl ask them never to open her room to see her during she was working. The couple did receive very high quality heavy clothing from her and very happy with her. One day, the couple were out of curiosity and could not but open the door and tried to how she make such good wears, but they were so surprised to see a crane using its feathers to make the cloth. The crane said that since they saw that she was the crane they saved, but she has to leave them and go back to their place. Such a little story like this one about Ongaeshi is so popular and has long history in Japan because they believe these are very good for moral education.

GK-1021, Katamigawari (Spring & Winter)
GK-1027, Beauty in the Snow $16,000.00 Mayumi
GK-1034, Four Season $8,000.00 Mayumi
GK-1048, Tsuru-no Ongaeshi $9,000.00 Mayumi


GK-1010, Uraraka (Mild and Beautiful)


GK-1043, Crimson Sunbird

GK-1010, Uraraka (Mild and Beautiful) $8,600.00 Yuhaku
GK-1043, Crimson Sunbird $9,600.00 Yuhaku


GK-1031, Toki (Japanese Crested Ibis)

GK-1031, Toki (Japanese Crested Ibis) $9,500.00 18


GK-1032, Totetsu


GK-1033, Totetsu

GK-1032, Totetsu
GK-1033, Totetsu $12,000.00 18