ARTISTS

Amita Arthur & Bond Asahi Shoten Ashizuki CPO Dunhill Namiki 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 Yiwangjik

Amita Co. artists: Minai, Torahiko Kanamori, Takeshi

Other artists

Fujii, Yoshitoyo [藤井美豊]

Yoshitoyo (Biho) Fujii


Fujii Yoshitoyo (some sources list "Yoshitoyo" as "Biho", as 美豊 can be read in both ways) 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. At some point his works were represented by (or he was working for) the Mitsukoshi company.

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

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.

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.

Addresses and locations
Exhibitions
Patents
Marks
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Examples (from the web)
Examples (from my collection)
References