Circa 1730


The two-part wood manju inlaid on both sides, with hotei to one side in mother-of-pearl, lacquer and bone or ivory, to the other side with his sack and uchiwa fan, lacquered in maki-e with great detail, one crack to the bottom part.

Diam. approx. 3.9 cm


Ogawa Haritsu (often referred to outside Japan by his alternative name of Ritsuo) was among the first Japanese lacquer artists to establish an independent reputation outside of the hereditary craft dynasties of Kyoto, Edo, and Kanazawa.

Following an early career as a haiku poet, he is thought to have first turned his attention to lacquer design in middle age and soon attracted a wide following thanks to his novel choice of subject matter and pioneering and imaginative use of unusual materials; at some point after 1710 he was hired by Tsugaru Nobuhisa (1669-1747), lord of a domain in northern Japan, for whom he worked until 1731.


In lacquer, he introduced a vocabulary of new materials not usually associated with lacquer artists such as glazed ceramic pieces, mother-of-pearl, and lead. Haritsu also mastered the technique of making lacquer surfaces appear to resemble other materials such as bronze, tile, ink sticks, and pottery, a style of decoration which became known as Haritsu saiku.


Inlaid Shitan Wood Manju Netsuke by Ogawa Haritsu or Ritsuo (1663-1747)