17.8 x 18.9 x 12.8cm overall:
a - box; 11.4 x 17.9 x 12.6cm
b - stand; 5.4 x 18.9 x 12.8cm
Incense played a significant part in the culture of the aristocracy and was adopted by the samurai class. Fragrant woods were imported at great expense from Southeast Asia, where they had been buried for many years to 'mature'. This box was made to store different types of incense for the incense game, in which participants are challenged to tell the different types of incense, each names with a poetic reference. Intricately decorated with various lacquer techniques, it features a profusion of flowers of the four seasons in a three-dimensional setting with the top as a trellis covered with wisteria.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.221.
The box is decorated with flowers of four seasons and its top bears a wisteria trellis. The interior of the door is decorated with butterflies. The tray in the top drawer has designs of cherry blossoms and a tent. The six small boxes in the central drawer have designs of persimmons, grapes, peaches, gourds, citrus fruits, and loquats, respectively. The three small boxes in the bottom drawer are decorated with gourds, ginkgo, and nandins respectively.
'Japanese Art', pg. 70-82., Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales 1990, 1990, 80 (colour illus.), 81 (colour illus.).
AJIOKA Chiaki (Japan) (Curator), Heroes and villains: from Japan's floating world, Sydney, May 2001, 7. cat.no. 2.10
'The World of Samurai Culture', The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales 2003, 2003, 221 (colour illus.).
Adventures in Asia. An education kit for the Asian gallery 2003, 2003, 12 (colour illus.). card no.12
Heroes and Villains, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 19 May 2001–19 Aug 2001.