Fuji is a stratovolcanic mountain, it is 3775 meters tall and the 35th tallest mountain in the world. It is praised for it’s attractive symmetry which has made it the subject of many poems and works of art. It is an important symbol of Japan and has huge significance in the Shinto religion, there are many shrines at the base and on the acsent of Fuji, they honor Princess Konohanasakuya the Kami (Deity) who’s symbol is cherry blossom.
The sun is a hugely important symbol in Japan, due to it’s position in the far east Japan is sometimes known as the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. In Japanese Japan itself is known as Nippon which means the suns origin, it appears on both their flags; the national flag as a red circle on a white background and the rising sun war flag as a red circle with rays emanating from it. In the Shinto religion it is believed that Amaterasu the sun goddess founded Japan 2700 years ago and all Emperors are descended from her.
Cloisonne is an enameling technique used to decorate metal objects, typically copper or silver, fine lines of metal are used to define the outlines of a design (called cloisons in French which is where the name cloisonne comes from) enamel paste in different colours is applied to the areas, which are then fired in a kiln and polished to create a glass-like finish.
Cloisonne is very fragile and must be treated with the utmost care, as one tiny knock can cause an area to shatter, it is very hard if not impossible to restore cloisonne.
The Ando cloisonne company is one of the only traditional cloisonne companies left in Japan, they were founded in the Edo period and originally sold pipes, in the late 1800’s they became known for their cloisonne and visited many world expositions and in 1918 were awarded the imperial warrant to the Japanese court.