Ise Sadakado of Nagoya and Tachibanaya Tomoshichi of Kyoto
A circular kogo hewn from the wood of the Nandaimon (Great South Gate) of the Tōdaiji (Great Eastern Temple) at Nara. The smooth wood surface of the container is decorated with overlapping broken roof tiles in takamakie. Creating a pleasing contrast between the natural material and the lacquer. Interior and base: nashiji with okibirame. The lid of the hakogaki with the inscription: 模様。貞門造 塗師蒔絵、橘屋友七、印：橘友七 (Wood design work by Sadakado (Ise Sadakado). Lacquer work by lacquer artist Tachibanaya Tomoshichi), with seal: Tachibana Tomoshichi.
The paper cover is inscribed:
東大寺南大門古木、伽藍 香合。好古斎好十ノ内。Todaiji nandaimon koboku garan kogo. Kokosai konomi ju no uchi
[One of the ten items favoured by Kokosai 好古斎, made from the old wood of the Great South Gate building (Nandaimon) at the Todaiji Temple.
Kokosai refers to the 7th Master of the Matsuo School of Tea (1847-1888), for whom this kogo was evidently made. The tactile pleasure afforded by this piece seems to impart a powerful sense of contemplative peace and it is easy to understand the high appreciation in which it was held.
Matsuo Sogo (Kokosai) Seventh master of the Matsuo School of Tea (1847-1888)
Matsuo Somi (Hankosai) Eighth master of the Matsuo School of Tea (1866-1917)
Sukemasa Matsukaya (1848-1930)
The head of Matsuzakaya1 from 1866 and 1924, Sukemasa was a member of the Upper House of the Japanese Parliament, and head of the Ito Bank. He retired to Kyoto where he devoted much of his time to practising Tea Ceremony under Matsuo Kokosai (Sogo), as well as pursuing ikebana, Noh singing, Kyogen and pottery.
1 Matsuzakaya, established as a kimono store in 1611, opened the first department store in Ginza in 1924, when it was also the first such store to allow customers to keep their shoes on, rather than leaving them in a cloakroom.