Japanese Meiji Period Iron Charger | Komai Workshop

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    Fine Japanese iron charger dating to the late Meiji period. The charger boldly decorated with an outer boarder of gilt leaves surrounding the central scene of the world-famous Itsukushima Shrine also known as the Great Torii of Miyajima. The charger is inlaid with gold and silver accents with the Torii gate featuring to the centre foreground and the Hoden (main hall) and Heiden (offertory hall) in the background.

    The Shinto Shrine of Miyajima is best known for its floating Torii gate. It is located in the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima prefecture Japan. The entire shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, with the Japanese government designating several buildings and possessions as national treasures. The shrine is one of Japanese most popular tourist attractions and is accessibly by ferry at Miyajimaguchi station. In total the shrine complex consists of two main buildings, the Honshu shrine and the Sessha Maraodo-jinja, as well as 17 different buildings and structures.

    There is some discussion as to when the shrine was originally built with some indication stating it was built by Saeki Kumamoto in 593 during the reign of Empress Suiko (592-628 CE) however more recently the shrine has been attributed to Taira no Kiyomori, a prominent nobel of the Imperial Court and later Chancellor Daijō-daijin, who heavily contributed to the construction of the shrine during his time as governor of Aki province in 1168.

    This scene is featured on several Japanese artwork’s due to its widely recognisable Torii it can be found on block prints from famous artists such as Hiroshige, Kunisada and Yoshitoshi as well as a few other pieces of Komai metalwork.

    The charger is signed to the rear Seibei Komai (駒井清兵衛), 駒 (“koma”) kanji inside the 井 (“i”) kanji 駒井 = Komai. Seibei Komai was the original inventor and found member of the komai workshop. He was also father to renowned Japanese metal artist Otojiro Komai who bears the dragonfly trademark.

    This exceptional charger would be a fine addition to any Japanese collection and one with such a deep connection to Japanese culture and heritage.

    Measurements | 30.5cm Diameter

    Condition | Excellent