Picnic Set with Crest and Seasonal Designs

Edo period (1615–1868)

Lacquer with maki-e gold and silver design

Gift of Lt. Col. and Mrs. Douglas Barnes


Picnicking under cherry blossoms or fall leaves has been a popular pastime in Japan for centuries. This picnic set includes nested food boxes and trays in a transportable case. It is decorated with circles of various flora, each one representing a different season.

The other image present in solid gold is the Go-Shichi Kiri mon, or 5-7 Paulownia crest. This emblem was adopted and made popular by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536 – 1598), one of the great unifiers of feudal Japan. During the Edo period, use of the Go-Shichi Kiri mon was tightly controlled by the government. Today it is still used to represent the elected government and Prime Minister of Japan.

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