About Taiwa Matsuoka

Urishi-e Artist

Taiwa Matsuoka

There is an artist impassioned by “Urushi-e (Japanese lacquer artwork),” whose beauty is only enhanced with the passing of time. But this expression of the art is not merely maki-e (gold lacquering) used as designs, nor does it have to do with armorial embellishments expressed in colored lacquer with a litharge painting style. Instead Taiwa Matsuoka dedicated his life as an Urushi-e artist to achieving “Urushi-e” as an established genre of fine arts. He continued his challenging course as a pioneer artist in the field during the Taisho and Showa eras (pre-WWI through post-WWII era) through a strong commitment to “establish Urushi-e as an art form suitable for the Japanese climate.” His burning passion left no hesitation in his course. Born in 1894, Taiwa Matsuoka lived his life with energy and purpose until his final year in 1978, when he died at age 84. This homepage presents his artworks so that Matsuoka can be introduced as an artist of extraordinary devotion and character who lived in this county of Japanese lacquer.


Taiwa MatsuokaTaiwa Matsuoka continued his studies in order to enhance a variety of Urushi (lacquer) colors. He called his Urushi-e “Urushi Artwork (Saishitsu-ga)” so that it would be distinguished from other types of Urushi-e (please refer to “The Birth of Urushi Artwork” of “Message from Taiwa Matsuoka” for details). Therefore, please note that general lacquer artworks are referred to as “Urushi-e” while the artworks of Taiwa Matsuoka are referred to as “Urushi Artwork,” so that their distinguishing characteristics can be preserved.