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Cup "Hiutsuri"

Craft Artist
Eiko Tanaka
Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture
W57 × H133 × D57mm
Horse chestnut, lacquer

Scarlet reflected in lustrous jet black

“Hi-utsuri” is a type of Nishiki-goi (literally, “colored carp”) with fiery vermilion spots on a jet-black body. The name of this work, “Hi-utsuri,” sounds the same as the “colored carp” hi-utsuri, but it in fact uses different characters which mean “reflection of scarlet.” Named after this hi-utsuri carp color, it is a synthesis of woodturner Eiko Tanaka’s assured technique and her sense of color, which freely draws together black, vermillion, and gold. The smooth, streamlined lines and the high pedestal, which looks like a fish’s tail, are reminiscent of a carp swimming gracefully in a pond. Subtle golden streaks along the grain of the wood gently flutter like ripples on the surface of water.

Eiko first discovered horse chestnut as a material during her training as a woodturner, and was fascinated by its rich and unique character. In order to fully draw out the charm of its delicate grain, she hand-sculpts each piece, painstakingly applying and then polishing each layer of lacquer until it looks its most beautiful. The work, made without compromise, demonstrates a high level of artistic achievement and is stunning not only as a sake cup but also as an objet d’art. We hope you will take the time to enjoy these works filled with the artist’s meticulous attention to detail.