Kiichiro Masumura

Kyushitsu technique – this is where urushi lacquer brings out the beauty of wood, bark, linen and hemp yarn.



  • Categories
  • Honors and Affiliation
    Full member, Japan Kogei Association
    Honorary professor, Tokyo University of the Arts
  • Status
    Living National Treasure
    (Important Intangible Cultural Property:Lacquer)


  • 1941
    Born in Toshima Ward, Toyo as the eldest son
    of urushi-work artist MASUMURA Mashiki (holder
    of important intangible cultural property)
  • 1969
    Completed Graduate School of Fine Arts
    (Lacquer Art), Tokyo University of the Arts
  • 1982
    Assistant, the Faculty of Fine Arts,
    Tokyo University of the Arts (1986:
    The Department of Crafts, 1990:Assistant
    Professor, 1997:Professor, March 2009:Resigned,
    Currently Emeritus Professor)
  • 1992
    His work (bowl) was purchased
    by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • 1993
    Invited to submit to “Nuances
    in Lacquer,” the National Museum of Modern
    Art, Tokyo
  • 1995
    Invited to submit to “Japanese Studio
    Crafts Exhibition,” Victoria and Albert Museum
  • 1996
    Invited to submit to “Rainbows and
    Shimmering Bridges - Japanese Contemporary
    Lacquerware Exhibition,” Japan Society Gallery,
    New York, Denver Art Museum
  • 1997
    Appeared in NHK “Saturday Morning of Art”
  • 1998
    Reproduced Shosoin treasure, Imperial
    Household Agency
  • 2000
    Direc+Y29tor, Japan Kogei Association
    (2004-09:Executive Director)
  • 2002
    Received the Medal with Purple
  • 2006-2009
    Chairman, Lacquer Art Divison,
    Japan Kogei Association
  • 2008
    Designated as a holder of important
    intangible cultural property
    Received the Citizen’s Honor Award,
    Kasukabe City
  • 2009
    Made an offering of his work (tray)
    to the shrine
  • 2010
    Goodwill Ambassador, Kasukabe City
  • 2012
    Received the Third Order of the Sacred
  • Work collected by
    National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Victoria
    and Albert Museum, London; MOA Museum of Art;
    University Art Museum, Tokyo University
    of the Arts; Museum of Modern Argentine Art;
    Museum of Lacquer Art, Münster, Germany; Jingu
    Museum; Japan Foundation; Museum
    of Kyushu Sangyo University; Kiso Lacquerware
    Museum, Nagano Prefecture

  • Holder of important intangible cultural property;
    Emeritus Professor, Tokyo University of the Arts;
    Adviser, Japan Kogei Association; Director, Japan
    Cultural Assets Urushi Association; Judge,
    Association of Traditional Art Crafts Industrial


  • 1979
    Received the Chairman of Japan Art Crafts
    Association Price at the 26th Japan Traditional
    Art Crafts Exhibition
  • 1981
    Received the Asahi Shimbun Prize at the 28th
    Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition
  • 1989
    Received the Selected Important Intangible
    Cultural Property Holder Award at the 36th Japan
    Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition
  • 2008
    Received the Grand Prize at the 16th MOA
    Mokichi Okada Awards Exhibition