The Ultimate in Finely Detailed Crafts
The era from Japan’s Edo through Meiji periods was a time, it is said, when the metal-working, lacquerware, and sculpting arts all, both technically and artistically, reached their zenith of development. In the long peace of the Edo Period, the absence of war allowed both military and merchant classes to tend to the elaboration of the personal articles and sword implements they carried on their persons, which led to the appearance of craftsmen able to produce the various splendid and extravagant articles they desired and the technical advances in these crafts. Dodging the many sumptuary edicts prohibiting luxury, finely detailed works that incorporated realistic expression and miniatures much smaller than the actual dimensions of their models that delighted the eye were the result.
For the present exhibition, the most minute and precisely detailed of the works within the Museum’s collection have been included. Feast your eyes on the myriad sword-fittings, inro, netsuke, and miniatures, and experience for yourself the infinitesimal art of the extremely small.