'I realized that my father made great contributions in the field of Japanese armor restoration.' Mr Morisaki spoke with deep feeling about his father.
Mr Morisaki‘s grandfather started the business 100 years ago and now the third generation, Tateki is responsible for the business.
He has restored many well-known examples of the armorer's art such as Konito Odoshi Oyoroi, owned by Ooyamatsumi shrine in Ehime prefecture and Akagawa Odoshi Oyoroi owned by Okayama Prefectural Museum, both of which have been designated Japanese national treasures.
Restoration is an attempt to return a damaged armor to its original form. It has to be historically accurate in every detail and every technique. The staggering amount of parts are all hand-made. Making of a full set of Katchu used to require the work of a group of highly skilled craftsmen. Today a single armorer handles every aspect of the restoration process. In the time-honored manner of traditional Japanese master craftsmen, his father did not teach him any skills. When his father became very sick, he asked his doctor for a permission to return home for a day so that he could instruct his son. His father taught him the technique of applying the perfect coat of lacquer, which has to be a precise thickness.
Although Mr Morisaki’s fine countenance doesn’t seem to match the typically stubborn manner of a traditional Japanese master craftsman, his attention to detail is a family trait that has been passed down to him from his father.
Armorer Tateki Morisaki
Contrary to the typical image of a skilled Japanese master craftsman, Mr Morisaki is a mild-mannered gentleman. He drives a white CELSIOR. Our company president, Mr Kajitani, and Mr Morisaki, both former Junior Chamber of Commerce members, sometimes dined together. Mr. Morisaki is a well-known Japanese armor collector and he often travels to Europe on business.
The level of perfection, precision and beauty are reflected in the craftsmanship of armor.
In general, the unit for counting Japanese armor is 'Ryo' (a territory). It means that the armor is equal in value to an area of land. Mr Morisaki is one of only six remaining recognized craftmen in Japan.