Negoro Tray with Cut Corners

  • Muromachi period
  • 15c
  • Red lacquered wood
  • H-3 D-39 W-39.5
Catalogue Entry

A 3cm thick tray is red lacquered on the front, and black lacquered on the back, with its four corners cut away to form a modified octagonal form. The low edge curves in slightly towards the center, and this type of base board can also be found in the Sanmai‐Oshiki tray traditionally held at the Kasuga Shrine in Nara. Further, the surrounding edge of the back of the tray has been thinned and fitted with two framed legs. This format would seem to indicate that the tray was not simply used for the serving of food, but rather had some religious implement usage. The Sanmai‐Oshiki tray is a tray form used in the rice scattering rites held to ward off bad spirits, and here the severe mood of the tray would suit such ritual usage. The red and black pattern of lacquer layers seen on the surface of this tray resonates with the viewer's solemn spirit. The back is inscribed in red lacquer with a text that includes the date, 1431.