A Kanshitsu Jikiro (Dried Lacquer box) by Okada Yuji covered in dark lacquer decorated with Kanshitsu-ko (powdered dried lacquer) and gleaming strips of mother of pearl and polished suzu-ita metal over billowing clouds of mother of pearl enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Seifu (Blue Wind). On top a ring of fine mother of pearl flakes studded with solid discs of hirame gold indicate the sun. The box is 30 x 18 x 22 cm (12 x 7 x 9 inches) and is in perfect condition, created in 2012, directly from the artist.
Okada Yuji was born in Kyoto in 1948 and graduated with honors from the Kyoto Hiyoshi-ga-oka High School Lacquer Course, Receiving top prize for his graduation project. In 1969 he apprenticed under Ito Hiroshi, and the following year was accepted into the Kyoten (Kyoto Prefectural Art Exhibition) as well as the Kyoto Kogei Bijutsu Sakka Kyokai exhibition (Kyoto Kogei Association of artists) where he would be awarded. This begins his solo career. In 1972 he establishes himself as an independent artist, and his work is accepted into the Nitten National Exhibition. In 1973 he is accepted into the Nihon Gendai Kogeiten (Modern Crafts Exhibition). He would subsequently exhibit regularly with the above mentioned Nitten, Nihon Gendai Kogeiten, Kyoten, Kyoto Kogei Bijutsu Sakka Kyokai and later at the Urushi no Bi-ten (Nihon Shikko Kyokai Japanese Lacquer Association) exhibitions as well as solo and group shows, receiving many awards over the years. Later serving as a judge at several of these events. Throughout the 70s and early 80s he would receive numerous awards. In 1985 he took a professorship at the Dohda Art School. 1996 he enters a new phase, having become well known for restoration of lacquer arts, he begins to actively promote restoration work in addition to creating his own artwork. He would go on to restore over 3500 works of lacquer art before 2022. In 1999 he exhibits three Dry-Lacquer works at the New York Art Festival. This is a turning point in his career, when he begins debuting his latest works overseas in Germany, England and America. He retires from the Kyoto City Dohda Art School in 2003 and establishes a lacquer research center in the Ninenzaka area of Eastern Kyoto. In 2006 he opens the Lacquer Studio Shiun to pass on skills to a younger generation and becomes a member of the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation. Post 2008 he concentrated on sharing his knowledge and technique with students and on the promotion of lacquer art through symposiums and events around the globe while at the same time continued to research into the techniques and restoration of lacquer artworks. Work by the artist is held in the collections of: the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Denver Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts New York, New Orleans Museum of Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum and Shanghai Art Museum among many others.