“Artwork process, as if watching a drama”

By Yaeko Yoshizawa, Copywriter


When I interviewed different people in order to learn about Mr. Taiwa Matsuoka, and when I reviewed his articles as featured in magazines from the 1920s, I felt as if I was traveling through time. As I got to know more about Mr. Matsuoka, I became more fascinated with the man himself. As is evident from a photograph, he was a handsome and charismatic gentleman. His wife Aya must have fallen in love with him because of such attractive characteristics. Mr. and Mrs. Matsuoka shared a common dream of Urushi artworks. For Mr. Matsuoka to be able to concentrate on his artistic activities without interruption, Mrs. Matsuoka, an energetic career woman, financially supported Mr. Matsuoka by taking a job as a school teacher by day and running after-school tutoring classes by night at their residence.


“I want to make him a big artist, but I don’t have enough business talent to make it happen,” Ay once said. The dream of her loved one was her own dream. She was Taiwa’s greatest and strongest supporter. The dream was to establish urushi-e as an independent genre within the realm of fine arts. The dream has been gradually expanded in today’s world. It is fortunate to know that an artist with such a passion existed during the pre- and post-WWII era. It is my hope that many people will get to know Urushi artworks and get a sense of the intimate passion of a fine artist, Taiwa Matsuoka.