Our Lovely World

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The Art of Chokin

A sample of a Chokin vase available on eBay

During the 12th century, Japanese Chokin artists used this art to decorate the armor, weapons and other military supplies of notable samurai. Chokin artists also decorated shrines using this method.

Chokin designs range from scenes of fierce dragons to those of gentle blossoms. Since it is a traditional Japanese art form, chokin art always depicts images considered native to Japanese culture. Examples include geisha, dragons, Japanese style bridges, legends, ocean scenes, flowers native to the country and actual Japanese landscapes


Chokin art is an ancient form of Japanese pictorial gilding. Copper is engraved and then the picture is gilded with silver and gold.

The “Live Japan” website says:

Chokin is a technique which uses a kind of chisel called tagane to engrave metal. Engraving is commonly used for fine, precise art works such as accessories and other ornaments. In the medieval feudal society, engraved patterns and pictures on tsuba (sword guard), which is set between the katana (blade) and e (grip) of a sword, were thought to be popular article to show the owner’s sense of beauty, and nowadays such tsuba are highly evaluated for their sophisticated designs

You can easily find affordable Chokin design pieces (not the antique sort, but modern designs) by searching “Chokin” on eBay or generally on the internet.

You will find plates, trinket dishes, vases and others, for purchase.

There are Etsy stores which offer “original” Chokin Art items, including those made by Shaddy, a company established in the 1920s, plus later pieces crafted in the Chokin style.



Happy searching!