We have already addressed the subject of Japanese jewelry and ornaments twice , in particular that of kansashi which alone constitutes a large part of the accessories of geishas and maikos. But we recently discovered a Japanese jeweler who offers sumptuous creations and we therefore wanted to share it with you on our blog.
Introduction to Japanese jewelry in the 20th century
To fully understand the work of Nobuko Ishikawa, it is important to know the context of jewelry in the 20th century.
Despite the fact that Japan has been able to offer many luxurious accessories and ornaments throughout its history such as:
- the kansashi
- the kuchi
- the fans
- the tekagami
- shakudo jewelry
Japanese Kanzachi (image source: Amazon )
When it comes to jewelry itself and objects such as rings, necklaces and even earrings, it must be recognized that Japan is a long way behind what Western civilizations offer.
But this situation will suddenly be changed thanks to the arrival of a certain woman filled with passion, talent, and even creative genius. You guessed it, this woman is none other than Nobuko Ishikawa.
She now dresses older children with her jewelry which goes wonderfully with chic style clothes like those offered by Braccario , a brand of clothing and accessories for men and women.
Born in Japan in 1943 during the Second World War, Nobuko Ishikawa trained at the most prestigious art school in Japan: the Tokyo University of the Arts. It is a school founded in 1949 by the merger of two even older schools: the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (1885) and the Tokyo Music School (1879).
Tokyo Arts Universities (image source: Animatou )
After completing her training, Nobuko will work for several years for certain brands. But quickly, she founded her own company at the age of 27 in 1970: Nobuko Ishikawa jewelry.
She also married a painter named Shigeo Ishikawa. His paintings are mostly traditional Japanese landscapes which most often depict houses, Mount Fuji or even cherry trees. You can get a glimpse of his work onthe artnet website .
Contribution to Japanese jewelry
If Nobuko's creations stand out so much from their fellow Japanese jewelers, it is because they manage to capture the characteristic notes of Japanese culture such as landscapes or mythology, and to inlay them in divine detailed pieces in the form of brooches or necklaces.
We also find an extremely high sense of detail in his pieces with the inlay of numerous precious stones, which strongly reminds us of the wonders of Wallace Chan . But Nobuko preserves the characteristics of Japanese jewelry with the alloy of copper, gold and the inlay of lacquered details in its pieces.
Her pieces remain luxurious without appearing ostentatious and this is once again one of the keys to Nobuko Ishikawa's success. Thanks to her jewelry, she manages to enhance women in a noble and discreet way at the same time.
Presentation of some of his pieces
Some cultures like the Egyptian culture can offer very recognizable jewelry . This is of course the case for Japan, but also for Europe. As we will see, Nobuko Ishikawa participated in numerous French exhibitions and we feel it in her work which is sometimes directly inspired by European castles.
image source: Blissfromparis
As previously mentioned, Nobuko draws heavily on Japanese culture in its designs. Here are some examples of his pieces directly inspired by Japanese ikebana floral arrangements:
image source: Espritjoaillerie
The legacy of the Ishikawa house
Since Nobuko Ishikawa's death in 2012, her sister Yoshie Ishikawa has taken over the jewelry store. Although one could easily say that their website does not measure up to their jewelry, it at least has the merit of showing you some of the rooms of the house. You can access it by clicking on the following link:nobukoishikawa.com