Tag Archives: Uba


Uba by Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891).

Uba means “old woman, wet nurse”.  She is  the spirit of the pine tree in Japan. She and her husband Jo (“love”) symbolize marital love and fidelity.

Shibata Zeshin (1807–1891) is history’s greatest lacquer artist, recognized worldwide for his exquisitely detailed lacquered boxes, panels, sword mounts, and other objects, as well as scrolls painted in both ink and lacquer. In addition to his mastery of traditional techniques, Zeshin developed a range of daring new lacquer textures and finishes imitating rusty iron, rough seas, patinated bronze, and even the delicate grain of Chinese rosewood.


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