perjantai 10. joulukuuta 2010


Inrō - A Key to the World of Samurai

"A kimono has no pockets. Therefore, in ancient Japan, coins, medicines, personal seals, and other small items were carried in a small container worn on the belt. For this purpose, well-dressed japanese gentlemen commissioned inrō, lavishly decorated lacquered containers. As an item of fashion, the inrō reflected its owner's wealth, personality, style and taste."

This beautiful exhibiton is taking place in Museum Centre Vapriikki, in Tampere, Finland. They have managed to get a hold of 205 inrōs from the Japan's Edo period (1603-1868), plus a section of other related things. For the official sites of the exhibiton at Vapriikki, head here: [finnish], [english].

The tickets are as follows:
7€ adults
2€ children (7 - 16 years), students
6€ pensioners, unemployed, members of groups (more than 10 persons)

22.4.2010 - 9.1.2011
Which means, hurry up!

Definitely worth every euro it costs and more. And if you happen to visit Vapriikki at friday after 15:00, you get in for free (at least for the time being). Oh, and by buying a ticket to see this, you get to see also the other exhibitons held at the same time.

At this big picture above the original ones presents five inrōs, of which the second from left was immediately one of my favorites.

Some cuties hanging behind a glass.

This was the most popular shape of the inrōs present. The sizes of these containers is that of a small camera, that is, smaller than your hand propably, that is, around 10cm in length. Some a bit bigger, some a bit smaller, but you get the idea.

A quite popular shape too.

Oh, so that's how a dandy dresses up! Now must head to a loli/aristo/younameit meet up right away, as a dandy..!

Alright, back to the business..

An inrō that has the island of life pictured upon it. Symbols of long life, like long tailed tortoises on it. (Where? Prolly on the other side, but that's what the text under it told me.)

Inrō which includes miniature lunch boxes, mad details.

In the inrō on the left: japanese storm god.
The one on the right: a lady wearing kimono, waiting a visitor.

This one was supposedly an inrō of a woman. But that had a question mark after it, so who knows?

Gold looks good on the black wood, yes?

.. so that's why those colors were seen in many of these.

An inrō of a samurai.
Mon, a family emblem on it.

A round shaped box which looks like a modern bowder container.

One of the inrōs that were most madly detailed. Every layer is having its own theme, while those layers were about 1x7cm. Just click on the photos to see them better.

A box that glitters. A bit different shape again.

The inrō that has its picture on the flayers of the exhibition. Amazing once again. Love to the dramatic colors. (I'd wear that anyday.)

The themes on the inrōs come from everything. From nature, mythology, stories, daily life...
There was infact one dancing rabbit in one of these...

The king of details.
"A map of Kiyoto's and its surroundings' 73 well known attractions. Names of those places are written on 6mm high golden (togidashi) nameflag." From the end of 1700's, before the year 1790.

The weirdos.
The ball is made of a bone of something, which's name escapes me.
The middle one is a pen disguised as a gun or a gun disguised as a pen.
The third one is a clock, which, yes, seemed to tick even today.

An old book of some inrō-making-master. It has themes drawn on it, which then later are pictured on inrōs. The inrō on the pic has it's theme on the page on the right.

Nowdays the inrōs of the old fashion are done only on specific cases, mostly only to wealthy collectors. But their shapes are familiar to the modern products as you can see. And you can often buy a plastic one as a souvenier at the castle sites.

But see the number five? The red thing is a clock, and the text concerning it told me that insted of the traditional BEEEB or RIIING, there comes a voice of a japanese man (which the text described as 'a growling samurai voice'), shouting "GET UP AND DO SOMETHING!"
Ah, that'd be a cool one too..

There we have few of the cuties, but if you visit the exhibition itself, you will see many more.
And the pictures can't quite bring you the real amaze they emit.

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