Celebrated domestically and internationally for tea ceremony caddies in lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlay, as well as rather more substantial fittings such as kimono display hangers, artisan Tatsuaki Kuroda (1904-82) has finally been honored with the first Kyoto retrospective exhibition of his work.

The exhibition focuses on his formative encounters with Kyoto craft and cultural elites when he was in his 20s, and the patronage of his Kyoto clients such as the Kagizen Yoshifusa confectioners. Later in life, Kuroda was commissioned to produce a large decorative cabinet and interior-door decorations for the Seiden-Take-no-Ma (Audience Room) of the Imperial Palace. On display, too, is the “King’s Throne,” part of a set of furniture made for the Gotemba mountain retreat of the legendary film director Akira Kurosawa. As if further credentials were called for, Kuroda was also the first woodworker to be designated a Living National Treasure, in 1970.

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