Kota Matsumoto

He began his career in lacquer at the age of 15, studying under Masami Isoi, holder of the Important Intangible Cultural Property. Under the guidance of his master, he specialized in kinmagiho, a traditional technique of Kagawa Prefecture.

He has won awards at the Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition. He participated in exhibitions in France and other countries, promoting the excellence of Kagawa lacquerware.

He established "Sanuki Urushi Sinra" to promote the appeal of Kagawa lacquerware and developed "Ishi Ko Nuri" using Aji stone. In 2023, he was appointed as a Kagawa Prefecture Traditional Craftsman to carry on the traditions of Kagawa. Recently, he has been using not only kinma but also all five Kagawa techniques in his work.

Kagawa lacquerware is a traditional technique that originated with Zokoku Tamakaji and has been practiced since the Edo period. It uses five nationally designated traditional Kagawa lacquer techniques: kinma, zonsei, chōshitsu, gotō-nuri, and zōkoku-nuri, to express patterns. The use of colorful lacquer in these five techniques is one of the characteristics of Matsumoto's work, and the vivid colors are rarely seen in lacquerware. Matsumoto specializes in the kinma technique, in which a pattern is carved with a kinma sword on top of a layer of lacquer, and then colored lacquer is applied to the carved area and polished off to create the pattern.

Kagawa Prefecture is the smallest prefecture in Japan, but it is a major lacquerware producer, having produced four important intangible cultural property holders (living national treasures).

Kagawa is also a prefecture with a strong lacquerware education system, where students can learn the art of lacquerware from high school. Kagawa lacquerware was developed as a gift to the Matsudaira clan during the Edo period. The tradition is being passed on to the next generation with innovation and inspiration. Matsumoto is one of them. He first encountered the art of lacquer in high school and has been fascinated by it ever since. Kagawa lacquerware is nurtured in a small prefecture in the quiet Seto Inland Sea.



2006 Encouragement Prize, Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

2009 Kagawa Prefecture Newcomer's Award for Culture and Art

2022 Sumitomo Mitsui Golden Artisan Award, Encouragement Prize

2023 Certified as Kagawa Prefecture Traditional Craftsman 

Japan Crafts Association, Regular Member