It is believed that the original arabesque pattern is the grass pattern found in Greek temples and other monuments, and that it spread from Mesopotamia and Egypt to various parts of the world. It is believed to have been introduced to Japan from China via the Silk Road. Since its arrival in Japan during the Nara period (710-794), the design has been simplified in various ways, and some parts such as the leaves have hardly retained their original forms. The design is also used in Kyoto lacquerware as a symbol of good fortune, as the life force of the vine is a symbol of development and prosperity.
After a middle coat of black lacquer is applied, a tin plate cut in the shape of a leaf is pasted on the surface. Two coats of black lacquer are then applied over the tin plate, and the tin plate is polished out with charcoal and polished with roiro polish. Finally, the stem is hand-painted with silver maki-e, and the entire piece is polished to perfection.
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