Unryuan (Kitamura Tatsuo), Seihai [chalice]; Kiddush cup Enlarge 1 /1

Unryuan (Kitamura Tatsuo)

Wajima, Ishikawa-ken, Japan born 1952

Seihai [chalice]
Kiddush cup
[Kiddush cup] 2004 Place made: Japan
Materials & Technique: sculptures, wood, lacquer, gold, silver, cinnabar, turban shell; lacquer, shell inlay

Primary Insc: inscription on base
Dimensions: 22.0 h x 8.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of Pauline Gandel 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
Accession No: NGA 2011.2
Image rights: © Kitamura Kobo

In the Jewish faith, Kiddush is a blessing over wine to consecrate the Shabbat or other important occasion. This Kiddush cup was made by Japanese lacquer master Unryuan to commemorate a 70th birthday, a significant event in Judaism. The cup has a remarkable mix of Jewish and Japanese spiritual symbolism. The vessel features a Star of David and the words ‘bless the wine’ in Hebrew. Its form and ornamentation were inspired by the lotus, a Buddhist symbol of purity.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label