Writing Box and Inro, anonymous, 1700 - 1800
Lacquer decorations often comprise references to literature. Sometimes calligraphed poetry is incorporated as part of the ornamentation, as in the case of this writing box and inro (a portable case for small items such as medicine). The characters were applied in inlaid mother-of-pearl and silver. The depicted plants (hagi on the box and susuki grass on the inro) relate to the poems.