The Box


January 1st 2010, my mother gives me this box. She loves to collect antiques. She explains a lot of it there but I tend to defocus when people are talking to me. Sorry mom. I only got half the picture.

2 days later I’m home, cleaning the studio. I unplug and move the printer off my desk—put the box there instead.

There. It adds that sense of style my desk was sorely lacking.

I roll back the shutter and examine the box and it’s contents: 3 stamps; 2 coins; 1 pair of keys and an ink stick.

I remember some of what my mother showed me of the box but facing a new object alone gives you a wholly different sense of what it actually is. Any attempt to verbalize it beyond function and history of the object diminishes the overall experience for both the listener and the speaker.

What I know about the box is that my mother bought it at a second-hand shop for ¥4000 (about US$35) and that she kept it for about eight years before giving it to me.

The coins are from 1945 and 1942. Both coins though varying in size and design are for one sen. Sen (銭) is a no longer used subdivision of the yen. Like cents to dollars, one hundred sen is equal to one yen.

The stamps are for two sen.

The keys do not belong to this box as there is no lock.

Everything else is assumed. Photos for you to draw your own conclusions:

Box1 Box2 Box3 Box4 Box5 Box6 Box7 Box8

6 thoughts on “The Box”

  • It looks a box for Japanese calligraphy(すずりばこ). Right? Did you rub the ink stick on the inkstone? What kind of black did it make? I’m interested in the black color because black range is so huge?
    And I’m not sure but they look fiscal stamps, not postage stamps. Right?
    Thank you for sharing. I saw the pictures with my deep interest.

  • You’re right, Hatsumi. They are remuneration stamps.
    Although, I drew with the new ink and you can see the results in the picture above, the black didn’t seem any different than my previous suzuri ink.

  • What a wonderful gift, I love the mystery that surrounds a beautiful box just like a hidden treasure, and its so lovely that your mother has given you a gift so relevant to your beautiful work. I must admit I much admire the box and your work, wishing you many happy drawing hours.

  • We should wander around antique shops and into people’s houses trying the key everywhere.
    Anyway that’s the conclusion I draw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *