Murase carved the undulating ridges of this piece before coating it in layers of black and vermillion lacquer. The color and form of this piece is reminiscent of dried fruit and is perhaps a play on the word natsume, or jujube fruit, the name of this form of tea caddy. The negoro style of lacquer, in which layers of vermillion lacquer cover a black undercoat, dates to the Kamakura period (1185–1333) and is one of Japan’s most historic lacquer styles. On the ridges of this tea caddy, the vermillion lacquer seems as if it has been rubbed off, calling to mind how objects change as they are used and pass through time.
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