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A Breathtaking Japanese Box: Kyohei Fujita

Kyohei Fujita
Tokyo, Japan
1921-Sept 18, 2004 

A Breathtaking Japanese Box
The name Koyhei Fujita is synonymous with "Liuli box" - and not just any box. A delicate and ornate Japanese Liuli Jewel box.

He's best known for his glass boxes with complicated surface decorations, and his work was included in the exhibit One of a Kind: The Studio Craft Movement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, December 22, 2006 - September 3, 2007.

After studying in the metal department at the Tokyo Academy of Arts (now the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music), Kyohei Fujita became an independent glass artist in 1949 at a time when there were few artists working in glass in Japan. He was a pioneer of glass-making and helped to bring the Studio Glass Movement to Japan. In 1989, he was appointed as the only glass artist to the Japan Art Academy, an honorary society for artists who have contributed to the arts. 

Kyohei Fujita places great emphasis on Japanese tradition and hand-made paper craft. This is why he represents modern Japanese Liuli art of the past fifty years and why he will continue to do so forever.

If there is anything to be learned from Kyohei Fujita, it would have to be the word "tradition". In contemporary glass art, all effort and passion seems to be placed on transcendental distinctiveness with this distinctiveness rooted in a form of historical sensibility. One must acknowledge and treasure their past in order to enrich their present. What the future may bring is thus negligible.

Humans are lonely beings who search for fulfillment through companionship. Unless there is true insurmountable obstacle, solitude is but a phase. Assisting others in leaving loneliness behind by embracing their past is one way to go through it.

Kyohei Fujita has inadvertently extended the glory of Japan’s Pinan Period through his work. Through the ashes of time and glory, he expresses a boundless aura. What is treasured inside that box is an ever-expanding ray of hope born from the ultimate beauty of life.

Within the realm of contemporary glass art, Fujita’s efforts are particularly moving because of his attachment to historical sentiment. A person must first recognize their past and treasure their future in order to lead a fulfilled existence.

Let craft be craft – nothing more, nothing less. 


Related Link:

A Breathtaking Japanese Box
A personal gift from Kyohei Fujita to Loretta H. Yang

Loretta H. Yang made the acquaintance of Kyohei Fujita during a 1993 exhibition in Japan. She greatly admired and was moved by his inspiring and world-renowned glass boxes. Inspired by traditional Japanese maki-e laquerware, he treats his glass with gold foil, engraving and inlay. Each box is created by mold-blown glass; the result is Japanese tradition at its best.

Loretta H. Yang's works inspired by Kyohei Fujita - Wish the Riches of Heart 

Back to Why Glass? - Redefine Glass Art: The Must Know 12 Glass Artists


Artist/Founder Loretta H. Yang leads a team of experienced artisans to create arts that honor the richness of cultural heritage and value.

Step No. 1: Design and sculpting


Step 2 of the process involves coating our original clay sculpture in silicone. Layer after layer (3 to 7 layers) is fastidiously coated to produce a negative mold, a crucial step in capturing the prevision of the sculpture. Each layer must dry completely before additional layer is applied, thickness must be uniform to prevent leakage of wax. Once complete, the clay is removed to reveal a negative silicone mold.

Step No. 2: Silicone molding


Pour molten wax into the negative silicone mold.

Step No. 3: Infusion of molten wax. Fill wax into a negative mold.


Once wax has solidified and cooled, release the wax form by carefully peeling back the silicone mold. Like a butterfly molting, the silicon is shed to reveal a positive wax form.

Step No. 4: Shedding of silicon mold to obtain the wax form


A careful refinement of the wax sculpture. Because every microinch and subtlety plays its own role in the grand scheme of beauty. Our artists refine the wax mold to its final perfection.

Step No. 5: Wax form refinement; removing imperfections


The wax mold is placed on a wooden plank in a metal container and plaster is poured and solidified. Embedding wax form with fire-resistant plaster.

Step No. 6: Coating the wax sculpture with plaster to form a refractory mold


Wax is steamed out of the plaster under high heat yielding a negative plaster mold.

Step No. 7: Removal of wax with steam—the essence of the “lost-wax” process


Liuli ingredients are created through unique firing and processing of glass. Color and size appropriate pieces are placed within the plaster and fired.

Step No 8: Choosing color; kiln firing


Fire and melt. Under intense heat, a new vision of transparency and clarity is born.

Step No. 9: Re-firing at 1,400 degrees Celsius


Extreme patience and care are necessary when removing the plaster to prevent damage.

Step No. 10: Removal of plaster mold

When the art pieces emerge, our masters step in to carefully chip away the plaster mold. Like excavating fragile archaeological relics, one false move and you're left with broken shards.


First comes die-cutting - smoothing the crystal down to the last microinch. Rough polish, removal of excess support, refinement and fine surface polish with a high-speed fabric wheel.

Step No. 11: Retouching of details; burnishing and polishing

Our artist refines and re-polishes each and every detail yet again.


An etched number on the base of each piece indicates its limited edition and reminds us to never stop creating. After the engraving - an official LIULI artwork is born.

Step No.12: Final inspection; etching of serial number; packaging