276 Photos - Nov 20, 2013
Photo: Workers at a shop making nunome-zogan items.
Note the size of the hammer heads.Photo: A damascene worker, Kyoto 1926
Image was supposedly taken during a world wide tour of the cruise ship S.S. RESOLUTE in 1926
I have two of these in my collection.Photo: O Komai Shop.  I believe this is from one of the shop's catalogs.Photo: Image of O. Komai Shop.Photo: Workers a the O. Komai shop.
This image appears on one of the shop's business cardsPhoto: Front side card from the Komai Otojiro shop.
My thanks to Kevin Page Oriental Art for permission to use the image of this card in their possession.Photo: The backside of a card from the Komai Otojiro shop.My thanks to Kevin Page Oriental Art for permission to use the image of this card in their possession.Photo: Business card for Komai Otijiro frontPhoto: Business card for Komai Otijiro backPhoto: Period advertizement appearing in a book on Japanese manufacturers.Photo: This is from a 1910 exhibition catalog of industries  of Japan held in London.  The original owner of the catalog met with Otojiro Komai Jr. and it is belived that he autographed this page.  Thanks to my friend David Mathews.Photo: Though pay was minimal or non existant for the first 17 years... they were fed and chothed and taught a skill.  Most Western apprenticeships for trades were for 7 years.Photo: Mark of Komai Otijiro
Nihon kuni Kyoto Jyu Komai seiPhoto: Early mark of Komai Otojiro on impressive plate.
Courtesy of Kevin Page Oriental Art.
Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Silver wire nunome-zogan on iron
Komai Otojiro mark
Nihon kuni Sai Kyo jyu Komai seiPhoto: Dai Nihon Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otojiro mark
Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otojiro markPhoto: Komai Otojiro mark found on silver backed buckle.
Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Mark found on card casePhoto: Komai Otijiro mark
elaborate dragonfly
Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otijiro mark
elaborate dragonfly
Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otojiro mark
Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Mark of O. Komai shop.
This mark is quite different from most of the marks I have see from this shop.
The wings of the dragonfly are curvy.
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otijiro mark
elaborate dragonfly
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Mark found on Ladies case.
Komai Otojiro shop
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otojiro mark
dragonfly is defined
Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otijiro mark
elaborate dragonfly
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai sei
Signature reads Otojiro?
Found on tray decorated with peacockPhoto: Komai Otijiro mark
simplyfied dragonfly
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otijiro mark variation.
Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otijiro mark
simple dragonfly
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai sei
Mark found on later itms.  Relatively simple dragonfly and JAPAN added to bottomPhoto: Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: late mark by O.Komai
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otijiro mark
simple dragonfly & stylized Kanji block
Note that the kanji characters have all be replaced with square dots.Photo: Late simplified mark
made with single wire widthsPhoto: Late mark of O. Komai shopPhoto: Stamped Komai Otojiro mark in iron.
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Stamped Komai Otojiro mark
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Stamped Komai Otojiro mark in steelPhoto: Photo: Komai Otojiro mark carved into gilded brass.  Sometimes found on high quality jewelry from the shop.
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otojiro mark carved
Nihon koku Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otojiro shop mark punched on gilded brass
6 dot signature
The character often found with this mark appears to be  張  CHO or HARI.Photo: Mark stamped on Otojiro Komai broochPhoto: Found with Stamped Otojiro Komai mark on brooch.   This mark appears to be  張  CHO or HARI.Photo: This mark appears on later made pair of cufflinks.  This might be a simplified version of O. Komai dragonfly mark with nine raised dots to symbolize the Kanji characters.Photo: Komai Otojiro mark
Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Kyoto ju Komai seiPhoto: Center character is RAKU surrounded by
Dai Nippon Kyoto Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otojiro shop circular mark
Kyoto jyu Komai gen seiPhoto: RAKU
Dai Nippon Kyoto Komai seiPhoto: RAKU Kyoto Komai SeiPhoto: Komai Otojiro early vertical mark
Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Mark of Komai Otojiro found on sword scabbard from the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.  This is one of the earliest marks used by O. Komai.
Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otojiro early horizontal mark
Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Mark of Komai Otpjiro found on clock sold by Christie's
 " Kyoto no ju Komai gen sei"Photo: Komai Otojiro mark
Image from Chinese video praising the work of Komai.

Nihon kuni Kyoto jyu Komai seiPhoto: Komai Otojiro early mark found on spectacular nunome zogan decorated plate.
Image courtesy of Kevin Page Oriental ArtPhoto: Komai Shingakudo (Shinrakudo) of Kyoto
Kyoto Komai Shingakido seiPhoto: Komai Shingakudo (Shinrakudo) of Kyoto
Kyoto Komai Shingakido seiPhoto: Early Komai Otojiro mark found on brush pot
Kyoto jyu
Koma i SeiPhoto: Photo: Komai sei
Reading top down
koma i seiPhoto: Komai SeiPhoto: Komai SeiPhoto: Komai seiPhoto: Koma I Sei "made by Komai"Photo: Komai Sei
"made by Komai"
Rather odd.  Read left to right.
found on a pair of vasesPhoto: Komai gen sei.
My thanks to Bonhams for this image and the following insight.
"The Chinese character gen after the maker's name which translates as 'original' or 'genuine' may be an attempt by the company to differentiate their works in an increasingly competitive market, when other companies such as Otsuno and Okuno were producing comparable high-quality wares in similar style"Photo: Image of S. Komai shopPhoto: S. Komai Buisiness card.Photo: S. Komai Business card backsidePhoto: Evidence that Komai had a shop in Shanghai for a short period.
The China Journal 1931 vol. 14 issue reported that S. Komai opened a shop in Shanghai and again S. Komai shop is mentioned in a 1933 issue of The China Journal.  This was the time of the Japanese invasion of Chinese soil.Photo: Photo: Komai Seibei mark
KOMA plus I
Combined they signify KOMAIPhoto: Komai Seibei markPhoto: Komai Seibei mark
KOMAPhoto: Komai Seibei mark
KOMAPhoto: Komai Seibei mark carvedPhoto: Komai Seibei markPhoto: Komai Seibei mark carvedPhoto: Komai Seibei with signaturePhoto: Photo: A period advertisement for Nogawa.  The Noboru Nogawa shop did produce nunome-zogan work on iron though they are better known for their bronze work.Photo: View of the workshop of N. Nogawa, a manufacturer of bronze ware on 22 Shijo Otabicho, Kyoto, Japan. Late 19th century albumen photograph.
This tinted image is from the following link at Old Photos of Japan.
http://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/253/bronze-ware-craftsmen#.VPDCWOGFl50
The site gives an indepth history of the Manufacturer.  I am grateful to those who take the time to collect and document information for others to use.Photo: Period image of the Noburo Nogawa shop.  This image was taken from an ebay listing.  A different tinted image is at the following link.
http://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/253/bronze-ware-craftsmen#.VPDCWOGFl50
The site gives an indepth history of the Manufacturer.Photo: Nogawa Shop mark.
NOPhoto: Nogawa mark found on impressive nunome-zogan decorated kodansu.Photo: NOGAWA mark carved into steel base metalPhoto: Kyoto Ikeda Gohmei Gaisha Sei
Made by Ikeda Co. KyotoPhoto: DAI NIPPON KYOTO JU KIMURA ZOU
Made by KIMURA
High quality work
This mark found on platePhoto: 日本国ー Japan 西京住 ー日本の京都の住所
安藤光春ーName Ando Mitsuharu 製ーmade by
Literal translation is, Ando Mitsuharu products Kyoto Address.
My thanks to Kojiro Ban from facebook for his interpretation.

日本國  NIHONKOKU = Japan   西京住 SAIKYO JYU= Living at Western Kyoto 安東光春製 ANDO MITSUHARU SEI=Made by Mitsuharu Ando
Many thanks to Hiroshi for this translation.Photo: Mark for AsaiPhoto: Asai mark
Asai sei (made by Asai)Photo: Kyoto AsaiPhoto: Kyoto Asai (found on covered vase)Photo: Kyoto Asai sei zou
Found on Iron tetsubin sold at BonhamsPhoto: Hamada SeiPhoto: 雲色堂造
Unshoku-dou Sei or zouPhoto: HOGETSU SAKU.  Made by HogetsuPhoto: Second character down is "Kyo" perhaps the bottom character might be "Do" or"Jo".

The kanji read SAI or NISHI  western, KYO Kyoto, KA  flower or marverous and DO shop or company. So I would read it SAIKYOKADOPhoto: HIOKI  SEISAKU
HIOKI is a family name, and SEISAKU means "made"
Made by HIOKI.Photo: Nihon Tokyo Kobayashi seizo - Kobayashi Company Meiji period
Coutesy of BonhamsPhoto: Ogurusu
小栗栖造
小栗栖 (Ogurusu) 造 (made)
Ogurusu zo
Made by OgurusuPhoto: Trademark of Ogurusu
小栗栖造
小栗栖 (Ogurusu) 造 (made)
Ogurusu zo
Made by OgurusuPhoto: Trademark of Ogurusu
小栗栖造
小栗栖 (Ogurusu) 造 (made)
Ogurusu zo
Made by Ogurusu 

The signature is HOGETSU SAKU. Made by Hogetsu. The first kanji Character of HOGETSU is HO.  I think Hogetsu was one of popular craftman of the nunome zogan.Photo: HASHIMOTO SEI  Made by HashimotoPhoto: Trademark of Ogurusu
小栗栖造
小栗栖 (Ogurusu) 造 (made)
Ogurusu zo
Made by OgurusuPhoto: Nagata sei 永田製
Information taken from Georgiy.Shoulga sebsite.
For further information visit his website "Smoking Samurai"

永田製
永田 (Nagata) 製 (made by)
Nagata sei
Made by NagataPhoto: jomi sei zo
紹美製造
Jomi Eisuke II, active 1880-1910
Well known for high quality inlay in brozes.

My thanks to Mark Chen for this and other marks.Photo: Okuno markPhoto: 大日本帝國
京都奥野製
 Dai Nihon teikoku Kyoto Okuno sei = made by Okuno from Kyoto, Empire of JapanPhoto: Ohayo advertisement 1904
Nakamura Ohayo in KyotoPhoto: Ohayo business card
Nakamura Ohayo in KyotoPhoto: Ohayo business card backPhoto: Translation of Kanji characters found on back of Ohayo card.  Many thanks to Kojiro Ban.
Nakamura Ohayo in KyotoPhoto: The back of another OHAYO trade card with description of some of the items manufactured.Photo: Ohayo logoPhoto: Ohayo mark. Lower left character is SeiPhoto: Ohayo mark stamped on brass cufflink fitting.Photo: "Ohayo sei"
made by OHAYO
Ohayo = Rising sun
製 sei "made by"
This maker made good quality work.Photo: "Ohayo sei"
made by OHAYO
Ohayo = Rising sunPhoto: "Ohayo sei"
made by OHAYO
Ohayo = Rising sunPhoto: "OHAYO sei"  Rising sun mark on brassPhoto: Mark used by Kawahito shop. Said to be heirs to the Komai shops.
川人象嵌
KAWAHITO DAMASCENEPhoto: Unidentified makerPhoto: Saikyo Inoue Sei
Made by Siajkyo Inoue
Inoue ("井上").Photo: Saikyo Inoue Sei
found on high quality decorated small boxPhoto: Kuroda mark on nunome-zogan case
Kyoto KurodaPhoto: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Unidentified makerPhoto: 松山堂   Shozando (shop's name)
 製           sei (made by)Photo: Fan with Dot
Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Fan with do
Maker unidentifiedPhoto: Fan with Dot
Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: HARA markPhoto: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Mark of Abe in Nagasaki
Nagasaki jyu Abe sakuPhoto: Den markPhoto: "Naga" perhaps the first character in the maker's surname.
Quality of work bearing this mark is usually pretty good.

Aritaya Seiemon
在銘 - ZaimeiPhoto: Kyo K24Photo: Kyo K24Photo: Maker unidentifiedPhoto: HAYASHIPhoto: "KYO"
Most likely referring to Kyoto where it was made.Photo: "Kyo"Photo: "KYO"
Reference to KyotoPhoto: Unidentified mark.Photo: The one is “KEI” or “MEGUMI”.
It would be the first kanji character of the name like KEIICHRO or KEISUKE.Photo: YOSHIPhoto: The kanji in the square design is “SHIN” “ARA” which means New. The square is the modified a kanji character for “I“ 
ARA + I is ARAI.

Translation by Hiroshi TakemoriPhoto: The kanji in the square design is “SHIN” “ARA” which means New. The square is the modified a kanji character for “I“ 
ARA + I is ARAI.Photo: 村上洋行 MURAKAMI YOKO. YOKO means Company. MURAKAMI is a family name.

Many thanks to Hiroshi Takemori  for translation.Photo: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Kanji Character in diamond
could read ri riki or ryoku
Ryoku is a name.Photo: 松山堂 Shozando (shop's name) , 製 sei (made by)
Translated by Hung-Yueh Hsu

松山堂 製 which can read MATSUYAMA DO SEI or SHOUZAN DO SEI
With help from HiroshiPhoto: M in Diamond
Similar to Amita mark.Photo: M in DiamondPhoto: M in a diamond.
Similar to the Amita mark.Photo: M in diamond mark found on brass mountings of jewelry.
Quality seems fairly decent.Photo: Advertizement for Aihara ShotenPhoto: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Yoshi
Mark of Kawano Yoshinosuke shop, YokohamaPhoto: Yoshinosuke
Mark of Kawano Yoshinosuke shop, YokohamaPhoto: Mark of Kawano Yoshinosuke shop, YokohamaPhoto: Mark of Kawano Yoshinosuke shop, YokohamaPhoto: Mark of Kawano Yoshinosuke shop, Yokohama
variation with gold backgroundPhoto: Mark of Kawano Yoshinosuke shop, YokohamaPhoto: Photo: Mark of Kawano Yoshinosuke shop, Yokohama
stamped into gilded brass fitting.  Jewelry or bucklePhoto: Photo: This character stands for KI
Perhaps the first character in the maker's namePhoto: KI-I ?Photo: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: MoriguchiPhoto: Moriguchi Kyoto
Top quality makerPhoto: The mark of MoriguchiPhoto: Tetsu
The mark of Ueda Tetsuzo
Modern craftsmanPhoto: Tetsu
The mark of Ueda Tetsuzo
Modern craftsmanPhoto: Kashima KazuoPhoto: Kashima KazuoPhoto: Kashima KazuoPhoto: Kazuo KashimaPhoto: Kazuo KashimaPhoto: Kazuo KashimaPhoto: Kashima Ikkoku III (1898–1996)
Grandfather of Kashima KazuoPhoto: Kashima Ikkoku III (1898–1996)
Grandfather of Kashima KazuoPhoto: Modern maker of nunome zogan items
IZUMI RYOICHIPhoto: Modern day maker of nunome zogan items.
IZUMI RYOICHIPhoto: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: KuriyamaPhoto: 垣矢 = Kakiya
製 = sei
 垣矢製KAKIYA SEI .= Made by KakiyaPhoto: 垣矢 =Kakiya
製 = sei
 垣矢製KAKIYA SEI .= Made by Kakiya
Found on quality nunome-zogan plate
Another possible translation
 埴矢 (Haniya)Photo: Nobuyoshi, Shimizu
HARUYOSHI 春芳信善
 【のぶよし】 (male given name) Nobuyoshi 【しんぜん】 (given name) ShinzenPhoto: Maker Unidentified
Last character could be Tsuka.Photo: Maker Unidentified
Perhaps this character reads TsukaPhoto: Maker Unidentified
Perhaps Tsuka.Photo: Maker Unidentified
Perhaps Tsuka.Photo: Maker Unidentified
Perhaps TsukaPhoto: Seal mark of Ashihara:
芦 ("Ashi") 原 ("hara") 
This information taken from website of Georgiy Shoulga "Smoking Samurai"
Thanks!Photo: Found on high quality zogan work.
Seal mark of Ashihara:
芦 ("Ashi") 原 ("hara") 
This information taken from website of Georgiy Shoulga "Smoking Samurai"
Thanks!Photo: Seal mark of Ashihara:
芦 ("Ashi") 原 ("hara") 
This information taken from website of Georgiy Shoulga "Smoking Samurai"
Thanks!Photo: Photo: Photo: Another mark with K24
Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Unidentified makerPhoto: Unidentified makerPhoto: Unidentified makerPhoto: ND mark unidentified
Interesting to see Western letters used.Photo: Label for Kyoto Damascene Co. Ltd.Photo: Photo: KZ mark
Kyoto Damascene Co.Photo: Kyoto Damascene Co. LtdPhoto: Unknown makerPhoto: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: 1903 advertisement showing the trademark of Kuroda.

My thanks to The Smoking Samurai website for this discovery.

http://www.smokingsamurai.com/Photo: Seemss to spell out GOA
My hats off to the Smoking Samurai site for finding a 1930 advertisement showing this as the logo of Kuroda.Photo: Unknown makerPhoto: Unknown makerPhoto: Unknown makerPhoto: Unknown makerPhoto: Unknown maker
Found on quality cigarette casePhoto: Unknown MakerPhoto: Unknown makerPhoto: Unknown makerPhoto: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Unknown makerPhoto: Unknown makerPhoto: Megumi mark perhaps?Photo: Mark found a quality jewelry with brass settings
Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: 215
Possibly a Yamanaka variation.Photo: Top portion similar to 215 mark
山 中 Yama naka Yamanaka

My thanks to Hung-Yueh HsuPhoto: Yamanaka mark variationPhoto: "Naka" (中)
Unknown maker.Photo: Photo: Photo: Mt Fuji
Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: This Fuji mark was on a piece of late zogan decorated bracelet. The mounting is silver and most zogan items for retail to the Western market were mounted on gilded brass.Photo: Mt Fuji
Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: K24 with fujiPhoto: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Carved mark on quality cigarette case.
Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Photo: signature on damascene platePhoto: NANSHUU SAKU
Made by Nanshuu
NANSHUU was (南舟)南井寅彦 (MANSHUU) TORAHIKO MINAMI I
Nanshu (Minai, Torahiko)
Worked at AmitaPhoto: NANSHUU SAKU
Nanshu (Minai, Torahiko)Photo: SHOSEN SAKU. Made by ShosenPhoto: 象泉作 SHOSEN SAKU
Made by ShosenPhoto: SEKISUI SAKU. Made by SEKISUI.
SEKI means a stone and SUI means water.
This signature is modern and found on a small plaque made for Amita.Photo: A printed cloth label found as part of a box holding an etched and gilded cigar case.  This indicates that the items marked with the Mt Fuji stamp was made by the FUJII Damascene Co. of Kyoto.

The kanji which sandwiche the Fujii Mark is To and Kyo. Third line reads Fujii Zogan. Last line is KINSEI which means Made by.

It is quite possible that the company may have had a retail outlet in Tokyo.  Advertizements show an address in Kyoto.Photo: A bit of literature giving us additional information about the FUJII Damascene Co.  The litterature mentions their inlay work on iron and I have yet to see a piece by them that is not etch & gilded brass.Photo: This is the mark of the FUJII Damascene Co.  Though not found on iron zogan items, I have chosen to post it here to help clarify the techniques used by this company.  This mark sometimes appears with a signature in Kanji characters.Photo: "Yoshihiko Saku" - 義彦作 - "Made by Yoshihiko"
Here the signature is often found with the Mt. Fuji mark.  Many thanks to Georgiy Shoulga.
There is some thought that the crossed lines at the bottom signify the Kanji characters for "I".  This mark was used by the FUJII Damascene Co.Photo: "Yoshihiko Saku" - 義彦作 - "Made by Yoshihiko"
This signature is often found on quality etched and gilded brass items marked with the Mt. Fuji mark. These items were made by the FUJII Damascene Co.  Many thanks to Georgiy Shoulga.Photo: Photo: “SEKI SEI” Made by SekiPhoto: Seki SeiPhoto: Signature found on Quality zogan workPhoto: Maker UnidentifiedPhoto: Fuku
Symbol for good luck
Mark has been identified as used by Fukui Company.Photo: Fuku in stylized square for ""I".  Perhaps Fuku-i mark.Photo: Fuku mark in Fan cartouche on BrassPhoto: Fuku mark in Fan cartouche on brassPhoto: Fuku mark in square frame on brassPhoto: Unidentified markPhoto: This has been translated as a form of copyright stampPhoto: G in square or Kanji character for "I"
This mark was found on the back of a brass base for a brooch.Photo: Kanji character dai (large) inside character for i (well).
Perhaps signifying Daii as maker or that the buckle is marked as the large size.
Mark on brass buckle mounting.
Decent quality nunome zogan work with urushi.Photo: KYOTO OKUDA SEI
Made by Okuda Kyoto
This signature is found on painted work made to look as if it were nunome-zogan decoration.  The work signed Okuda is quality and desirable.  I suspect these date to early 20th century.Photo: San mark found on brass fitting for brooch.Photo: ZOUGAN SEIZO ZOGAN maker
Paper label found on box containing nunome-zogan items

Hung-Yueh Hsu It says 京都 市 Kyoto city 河原 町 Kawara machi 五條上ル Gojo Agaru ( Address of this shop ), 象嵌 Zogan ( Inlay ) , 製造 Seizo ( manufacturing ) ,and 駒嵐 商店 Komaarashi Shop. The trade mark In the middle 勝 Kachi , Masa... ( if surname ) or Mamoru, Sho.... ( if first name ).Photo: ZOUGAN SEIZO ZOGAN makerPhoto: Photo: