Urushi artist Murose Kazumi on his early inspiration and the importance of ‘Living National Treasures’

Murose Kazumi is recognised in Japan as a ‘Living National Treasure’ for his accomplishments in the field of maki-e; a technique in which powdered gold and or other precious metals are sprinkled onto urushi (Japanese lacquer) items to create pictures and patterns.

In this video interview, Murose explains how his father ignited his love of urushi and how his dedication to the craft was further guided by Matsuda Gonroku, the ‘god of urushi’. He also discusses what it means to be a ‘Living National Treasure’, and the importance of passing on the skills of urushi and other crafts to the next generation.

About Murose Kazumi

In 2008, Murose Kazumi was designated a Holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property (‘Living National Treasure’) in the field of urushi for the maki-e (sprinkled picture) technique by the Japanese Government. He spends considerable time restoring ancient urushi works and helping to survey urushi collections from all periods. He cares passionately about fostering the next generation of urushi artists as well as promoting Japanese craft (kōgei) and its preservation. In the UK his work is represented in the British Museum and the V&A.

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