ARTISTS

Amita Arthur & Bond Asahi Shoten Ashihara Fujii, Yoshitoyo Fukui Hagiya, Katsuhira Hattori, Kintaro Ikeda, Seisuke G. Ikoma Kagawa, Katsuhiro Kawano, Yoshinosuke Komai, Otojiro Komai, Seibei Kuhn & Komor Kumeno, Teitaro Kuroda, Kiichi Kyoto Damascene Mitsui, Yoshio Mitsukoshi Miyamoto Shoko Murakami Toyo Nagata Namikawa, Yasuyuki Nogawa, Noboru Ogurusu Ohayo Okubo Brothers Samurai Shokai Takeda Brothers Uyeda, Kichigoro Yamanaka

Amita Co. artists: Minai, Torahiko Kanamori, Takeshi

Other artists

FUJII, YOSHITOYO 藤井美豊

HISTORY
Yoshitoyo (Biho) Fujii.

Some sources list "Yoshitoyo" as "Biho", as 美豊 can be read in both ways.

Fujii Yoshitoyo was born in 1868 in Kyoto, Japan. His house for four generations has enjoyed renown as the producer of inlaid work of first rank. Early in life, he trained himself in this art, which led him to perceive the fact that there was ample room for further improvements and developments. Long experience and careful study gave him the skill and knowledge by which he could perfect the art, but Kyoto in those days was quite conservative, so that it was practically impossible for him to carry into practice the results of his investigation. He left home, and came to Tokyo, the centre of learning, when he devoted himself to the art for a number of years, and finally succeeded in introducing valuable improvements. It was in 1902, at the age of 35, that he obtained a patent from the Imperial Government. In 1909 a second patent was granted him. His damascene work being made mostly from designs drawn by Prof. Bisei Unno of the Tokyo Fine Art School, they well meet the taste and requirements of the time.

In many exhibitions, industrial, competitive etc. first class medals have been awarded him for his exhibits, and to his great honour his works has been purchased by the Imperial Household.

The number of men employed in the Fujii factory had reached over 200, while his productions are sought not only by Asiatic countries, China, India, etc. but also by countries of Europe and America. The principal articles exported consisted of broaches, scarf pins, cuffs, coat buttons, bracelets, necklaces as well as card cases, cigarette cases, match boxes, writing sets, flower vases, cabinets and other decorative articles.

In fact, his inlaid work standed conspicuous among similiar productions of Japan.

The damascene work made by his special skill, the miniature of the Kinkaku-ji Kyoto reduced to 1/50 of the orginal, took him four years to complete and cost him 15,000 yen. This has been sent to the Japan-British Exhibition.

Miniature of the Kyoto Kinkaku-ji temple by Yoshitoyo (Biho) Fujii.

At some point his works were represented by (or he was working for) the Mitsukoshi company (see the first two cigarette cases below).

After 12 years of work he exported abroad, often earning praise and winning prizes at exhibitions several times. Finally, he created his own company called "Fujii Damascene Co." operated in the second quarter of the 20th century.

Although Fujii's works are extremely detailed and very similar to the, for example, Komai's works, they are done in the etching technique and not in Zogan. Because Fujii's company was called "Fujii Damascene Co" or "Fujii Zogan Co" there should be arts he made in a Zogan technique, but till now, none of these were discovered.

As for now, it is believed that the patents he received in the 1900's were about new technique of damascening he was working in, which is the reason none of the Zogan pieces of Fujii are found yet.

EXHIBITIONS

Participated in the following exhibitions:
1910: Japan-British Exhibition (London, Great Britain) - 3rd building, ground floor, stand 684.
1914: Tokyo Taisho Exhibition (Tokyo, Japan).
1915: Panama-Pacific International Exposition - "Gold and Silversmith's work" category.
1933: A Century of Progress International Exposition (Chicago, USA).

Tokyo Taisho (1914)
Exhibition record
(Translation)
Panama-Pacific (1915)
Exposition record
Panama-Pacific (1915)
Exposition record
Chicago (1933)
Exposition record

PATENTS
Patent #5677 from
September 17, 1902
Part 1
(Translation)
Patent #5677 from
September 17, 1902
Part 2

ADDRESS

No. 2, Sannen-cho, Kojimachi-ku, Tokyo. (1915)
No. 3, 1-chome, Tamura-cho, Shiba, Tokyo. (1941)

MARKS


Kanji are written from the right to left (old style)
京東, 眼象井藤, 製謹
東京 (Tokyo), 藤井 (Fujii) 象眼 (Zogan), 謹 (carefully) 製 (made by)
Tokyo, Fujii Zogan, Kinsei
Carefully made by Fujii Damascene Co., Tokyo



Fujii Damascene Co. trade mark


藤井製作
藤井 (Fujii) 製 (production) 作 (made by)
Fujii seisaku
Made by Fujii


藤井象眼謹製
藤井 (Fujii) 象眼 (Zogan), 謹 (carefully) 製 (made by)
Fujii Zogan, Kinsei
Carefully made by Fujii


美豊作
美豊 (Yoshitoyo) 作 (made by)
Yoshitoyo Saku
Made by Yoshitoyo

ADVERTISEMENTS
Circa 1930
("K"? Registered
on father's name?)
1941

Records from old books

1940

EXAMPLES (from the internet)

EXAMPLES (from my collection)

References:

"Tokyo Taisho Exhibition Catalog", Tokyo Taisho Hakurankai jusho jinmeiroku, 東京大正博覧会受賞人名錄, 1914, p. 98.
"Dictionary of Chemical Industry Inventions", 化學工業發明辭書, Japan Society of Industrial Chemistry, 日本實業化學會編, 1917, pp. 289-290.