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Itaya Kōji

Japanese, 1925 - 2006

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Born in Wajima, where he worked most of his life, Itaya Kōji in 1949 became an apprentice to Mae Taihō (1890-1977), who was named a Living National Treasure for the chinkin incising technique that became Itaya's specialty as well. Itaya's work was accepted into the Nitten for the first time in 1948. He continued showing at the exhibition, often submitting twofold or single-panel screens with animals or tree motifs. In the 1960s his designs became more abstract, but the exacting craftsmanship of his inlay and carving never diminished. Itaya's work was accepted into the Thirteenth Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition for the first time in 1966, and he continued showing his work in this venue. He became a permanent member of the Japan Traditional Art Crafts Association in 1969, and a member of the Wajima Lacquer Techniques Preservation Association in 1977. Itaya's lacquer work was seen frequently in the major craft exhibitions, and he received the Ministry of Education Prize in 1988.

Felice Fischer from, The Art of Japanese Craft: 1875 to the Present, Philadelphia Museum of Art bulletin (2008), p. 51.

Reference: Shiraishi Masami, Rainbows and Shimmering Bridges-Contemporary Japanese Lacquerware, exh. cat. (New York: Japan Society, 1996), no. 5.

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