Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The distinctive architecture of Japanese castles lightly peppers the country's landscape.

Once boasting at least 5,000, Japan is currently home to about 50 castles one of which is the 14th century Himeji Castle.

The majestic structure served as an exotic backdrop in the Tom Cruise film, The Last Samurai. Japan is also home to featured jewelry designer style Yoriko Mitsuhashi.

In general, Japanese jewelry reflects diverse aesthetics from brightly colored textile creations to gold to polypropylene plastic.

There are designs featuring crocheted silver and gold threads, and an implementation of a centuries-old lacquer technique known as maki-e.

For the most part, Japanese fine jewelry is characterized by elegant, clean forms and "white" gemstones; specifically white diamonds and white pearls.

A graduate of Scotland's Edinburgh College of Art, Mitsuhashi enjoys experimenting with found objects and mixed media; however, she adheres to the Japanese trend of low-key elegance.

"I interpret modesty through jewelry," she says "I attempt to capture a delicate, elegant and discrete quality in my jewelry using a simple form made from pearls and gold."

Her work has garnered numerous awards including the Royal Society of Art's Student Design Award, and the Butler and Geblett Travel Award for fashion jewelry.

Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Yellow Gold Modesty Ring
Photo 2 (bottom left): Coil Ring in Gold-Plated Silver Pearl Wire
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