Exquisitely painted cherry blossoms (sakura) and willow branches (yanagi) on a background of jet-black traditional lacquer.
The craftsman, Wakashima Takao (b. 1935) was born in the north of Japan in the picturesque town of Wajima. The lacquer technique particular to this region (Wajima-nuri) is rather unique in its use of an undercoating incorporating special compounds that make it exceptionally durable over time. Wakashima perfected this demanding technique and, over the course of his illustrious career, won several awards for excellence.
In very good condition, this piece is 2.75 inches in diameter (7 cm) and stands 2.8 inches tall (7.2 cm). It comes with a wood box with a label reading “natsume” and the signature of the artist on the bottom right.