Muromachi ~ Momoyama period(1336-1603) The Establishment of Kamakurabori
During Muromachi period, many Buddhist altar fittings were produced. During the early period of his time, the style was greatly influenced by the imported Chinese goods but later, as the style gradually developed, the unique Japanese style of Kamakurabori was established
Even after the fall of the Kamakura military government, the demand for imported Chinese goods continued among Zen temples. Many Buddhist alter fittings of Kamakurabori style, with the great influence of the imported goods, were created. There were many incense cases with the pattern mainly of guri (spiral pattern), and peony patterns, and a large sum of works still exist today. Among these works, on the surface of the large incense case with guri design from the collection of Konrenji Temple, the year of production “Bunmei 11 (1481)” was engraved and it is the oldest Kamakurabori work that has an inscription. Also the large incense cases of Nanzenji Temple, Chionji Temple, and Engakuji-Temple have been passed down throughout the generations even to this day.
From these works, it is obvious that while the works were greatly influenced by the imported goods from China, the Japanese style was also cultivated, and eventually, the unique Japanese Kamakurabori was established.
From late Muromachi to Momoyama period, the colored wood engraving oi, or carry boxes for the mountaineering ascetics were spread from fukushima area to the northen Japan, and almost all of them have bold camellia design. The existing oi works are recognized as important works demonstrating the typical example of camellia pattern.