Maki-e in the Momoyama Period – Gold and Nanban
After the long period of warfare came to an end and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-98) unified the country, there was a rush to rebuild damaged castles, temples, shrines, and impressive residences in various regions. This created a great demand for maki-e to decorate such architectural spaces and furnishings. This, in turn, resulted in the fashion for various maki-e techniques, later collectively termed Kōdaiji maki-e, in which complicated processes were simplified. Its large and bold designs such as autumn plants or crests of paulownia in an expansive manner were greatly favored.
In the Momoyama period (1573-1603), Christian missionaries and merchants from the West reached Japan. They were mesmerized by maki-e and ordered Christian ritual implements and Western-style furniture to be shipped from Japan. This type of work for export is commonly referred to as nanban lacquerware.
In addition, traditional maki-e using the techniques of togidashi maki-e (polished-out maki-e) and takamaki-e (high relief maki-e) continued to be made throughout this period, while also being inspired by the bold and colorful spirit of the age.