Size: W27cm x D17cm x H6.6cm
Materials: wood (pine), real lacquer (Tsutsumi Urushi Kai, color mixing), gold leaf, copper, brassa
Kyoto’s Buddhist altars and altar fittings craftsmen have a division of labor in each stage of the process, with as many as 20 different jobs in total. Wood, carving, lacquer, foil, metal fittings, coloring, maki-e, forging, casting, etc., are all part of the craftsmanship, and each process results in a finished product.
Because of the diversity of materials and processes, the skills of Buddhist altar craftsmen can be expressed in a variety of ways, and their strengths are not limited to Buddhist altars and altar equipment, but also extend to other fields. As a group of artisans that excels in limited production and one-of-a-kind design and artwork, we aim to protect and pass on our skills through new demand and to foster successors.
animus is one of the works of the “”raison d’être”” project with six creators. raison d’être means “”significance”” in French, and has two objectives.
The purpose of this project is twofold: 1.
To make the skills of Kyoto’s butsudan and butsugu craftsmen widely known to people in other industries.
As living spaces and lifestyles have changed, so has the form of prayer.
In this context, the necessity of Buddhist altars themselves is also changing.
We believe that a Buddhist altar has three identities: a miniature temple structure, a piece of furniture to be placed in the home, and an object to be prayed to.
Each of these three identities is reorganized with product designers, architects, and artists.
By combining these three identities with artisans and rethinking the meaning of the Buddhist altar and what it should be in our daily lives, we aim to reexamine the importance of the act of holding hands, place and time.
We asked each of the six artists to express their own idea of prayer in the midst of changing lifestyles and how to incorporate Buddhist altars into modern architecture, living spaces, and interiors.
This piece, designed by Satoshi Itasaka, is a one-of-a-kind tool made of wood on the outside and metal on the inside, and is entirely hand-made. The wooden container is hollowed out from a block of wood and the top and bottom are aligned, and the tools are carefully made one by one by cutting, beating, and bending copper plates.
The three colors of lacquer are specially blended for this work.
Comment by Satoshi Itasaka
In my search for the ideal form of a long-lasting Buddhist altar, when I crossed the values of modern people, which have changed dramatically, with the traditional material of Buddhist altars, I first focused on the fact that regardless of ideology, country, or era, people and pets alike will one day pass away, and those left behind will think of and mourn the deceased. The underlying principle is a universal idea that does not need to be bound by traditional commitments or religious styles. The result is a vase with a sensual and even crazy shape, clothed with expressions of life and death, and capable of storing thoughts of the deceased and the deceased’s belongings (relic data). This altar is completed by offering flowers to the beloved deceased with prayers for repose and renewal.
WAKABAYASHI BUTSUGU Seisakusho
Established in 1830, Wakabayashi Bukkyo has been making Buddhist altars and altar accessories for many years in Shichijo, Kyoto.
In addition to the manufacture and sale of Buddhist altars, the company has been striving to utilize the skills of its craftsmen in a variety of fields.
In recent years, we have also been involved in the restoration of cultural properties, such as national treasures and important cultural assets.
In recent years, he has also been involved in the restoration of cultural properties, such as national treasures and important cultural assets, with the aim of “reexamining the significance of the existence of the Buddhist altar as a place of prayer” and “making the skills of Kyoto’s Buddhist altar and altar craftsmen more widely known to people in other industries. As a group of artisans with strengths in design and artwork, which is often limited production or one-of-a-kind, they aim to protect and pass on their skills through new demand.