Vintage Japanese Art

Since Aunt Eiko passed away a couple of months ago aged 93, it reminded me of all this wonderful artwork she had inherited from her great grandfather. Remarkable these fragile pieces had survived the bombings from WWII.

Masako and Spam Musubi


My Aunt Eiko had these in a brown paper bag of all things.

Hundreds of old Japanese artwork kept by my Great-Grandfather Wakio Shibabayama.  Born August 17, 1874 in Kaga City of the Ishikawa Prefecture.

Sumi-e.  Watercolors.  Sketches.  On thinner-than-tissue rice paper.  Dog-eared from what appears to be many years of handling by my Great-Grandfather.


My Aunt Eiko’s knowledge of Wakio (her grandfather on her mother’s side) is unfortunately sketchy.  No pun intended.

Her knowledge of these paintings is even sketchier unfortunately.

But they survived the war and I don’t know how they did.  They are so fragile to say the least.

Surprisingly, some artwork was painted on several sheets of rice paper glued together.  I don’t know what kind of glue it was but it sure beats Krazy Glue.  And it’s non-toxic to boot.  I think.


armor An apparent samurai in full armor.

Aunt Eiko knows Wakio was…

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2 thoughts on “Vintage Japanese Art”

  1. My father sent home a Japanese print. It is very fragile, like you said. On it, it says 800 years old. I doubt that it is, even Smitty said so, he liked it though, so sent it home as a souvenir. It was partly water-damaged by the time I became in possession of it and have framed it for protection.
    I can not imagine how valuable those pictures you have are!!

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