Kissho monyo refers to Asian auspicious motifs that are often used on objects to bring about good fortune or ward off back luck. Such designs are typically inspired by mythological tales and include animals such as tigers, cranes and turtles. The motifs symbolize a range of human desires and qualities — from strength and generosity to beauty, fortune and longevity.
Most maki-e decoration — lacquerware embellished with gold or silver powder — use such motifs to add meaning and significance to the objects they adorn, and kissho monyo remains a popular form of decoration in Japan today; till Jan. 29.
Zohiko Urushi Museum; (075) 752-7790; 2F Zohiko Main Shop, 10 Saishoji-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto; Higashiyama Station, Tozai Line. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥300. Closed Wed., Dec. 30-Jan. 4. www.zohiko.co.jp/museum.