Akito Akaji was born in Okayama, Japan. He started his career as a magazine editor at a publishing company. After that, he moved to Wajima in 1988, and he became an apprentice to a base-coating master of Wajima lacquerware, Susumu Okamoto, in 1989. Akaji owns a studio and works independently since 1994. He gained international recognition and selected as one of the “twelve contemporary Japanese lacquerware artists” at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
Akaji is advocating that lacquer art should be an integral part of everyday life. He has been recognised as one of those who actively promote Japanese lacquer making in a contemporary context. His inspiration comes from those pieces of the old days and ancient times, which he found in temples or locally in Wajima. Akaji’s works blend traditional aesthetics with contemporary style.
“I feel the vitality of many old things. They give me a sense of freedom that is deep and precipitated. Old things became the basis of my creation. They are no longer confined to the beauty of their own. That is what I strive to achieve.”