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Ginseng Box (Joseon Dynasty Korea)


18th century



This small box, made from carefully selected materials and decorated with beautiful metal fittings, was used for keeping precious ginseng. Takumi Asakawa, who at that time lived in Seoul, brought it back to Mikuni-so. Takumi and his brother Noritaka were both crafts researchers, and moved to Korean peninsula during the Taisho and early Showa era.

Tamesaburo Yamamoto, as an organizer of the Koseikai social club for businessmen in Kansai, gave support behind the scenes to the Asakawa brothers’ research and collecting activities. The Joseon-dynasty crafts including this piece indicate the close relationship between Yamamoto and the Asakawa brothers.