“My paintings will last for a few hundred years. You only have to wipe with a dry cloth to care for them.”

Junko Inui,
Gallery Copaind’Art Inc.


I don’t know of any other artist who produces Urushi-e as fine arts like Mr. Matsuoka did. What he specialized in is rare and precious. It takes tremendous effort and time to draw Urushi-e. It has become rare in the present time to find an artist like Mr. Matsuoka, who devotes his time and money to that which he is so passionate about.


Because I grew up in his neighborhood, I took drawing lessons from Mr. Matsuoka since preschool age, and took math classes taught by his wife, Aya. When I was a child, Mr. Matsuoka’s art studio was my favorite place to hang out. Lately, I’ve been managing an art gallery and have had numerous opportunities to visit different art studios, but Mr. Matsuoka’s studio is still my favorite of all. His studio faced north, and carefully designed by Mr. Matsuoka himself. It was a very comfortable and welcoming space. There was a small room the size of three tatami mats (8.8 square feet) on the loft of the studio, and Mr. Matsuoka used to call it “my best place.” The room was furnished only with a set of futon bedding, night stand and books, and I think the room was the place for him to crash after working on his artwork until late at night. I remember going up to that small room with other children in the neighborhood.


The impression of Mr. Matsuoka is of a “grandpa” who is gentle and warm, and of one who speaks in a calm tone of voice. Unlike his demeanor, his inner passion was enormous. From his paintings you can sense the dynamic power of his passion. Mr. Matsuoka was very fond of horses, and he cherished his painting entitled “Decorated Horse.” He started his Urushi-e career in the hope of preserving his artworks for a long time, and he used to tell me, “My paintings will last for a few hundred years. You only have to wipe them with dry cloths to care for them.” This is the distinct characteristic of Urushi-e. I am certain that Mr. Matsuoka would have been delighted to have his artworks shown through an opportunity such as this website.