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Hakkodo: the Artisans of Kamakura

In the spring of 2015, Hakkodo: the Artisans of Kamakura featured Japanese lacquerware, a unique art form that is still little known outside of Japan. This exhibition offered a rare chance to see how a centuries-old tradition evolved from generation to generation down to the present day.

In Kamakura, Japan, a small history-bound city located about an hour south of Tokyo, the craft of carved, lacquered woodwork has been passed down from father to son for 29 generations. One of the oldest establishments working in this medium is the Goto family’s Hakkodo. Breaking new ground as the first woman to head the family business, Keiko Goto is building upon the tradition of her ancestors while creating work that is both innovative and uniquely her own. In this exhibition, Keiko and her artisan sister Naoko Goto have brought all four generations of Hakkodo work to the Portland Japanese Garden for the first time in more than one-hundred years.

“Hakkodo’s skills have been passed through generations, but they’re not afraid of adding modern methods to make beautiful objects of art.”
– Metropolis Magazine