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KURONO is proud to introduce the new Hiroshige Watchpad - a reimagination of a leather valet designed specifically for placement of your KURONO watches.


The watchpad is made of soft calf leather hand-cut precisely to fit the full length of any KURONO watch and is wide enough to accommodate a few more watches and accessories. The leather leverages the same hand-rubbed anticatura patina technique as our Hiroshige watch straps and displays varying shades of walnut with hints of mustard.


Hiroshige Watchpad - like all our Hiroshige accessories - is based on an actual 180-year-old woodblock print (ukiyo-e, circa 1835-39) by celebrated ukiyo-e grandmaster Utagawa Hiroshige which we own in our permanent art collection. The famed artwork is laser-cut on the leather. Sister copies of this artwork are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, amongst others.

Titled ‘chūshingura Act XI, Scene I: The Night Attack Advances’ (‘jūichidan-me ichi, yochi oshiyose’ 忠臣蔵 十一段目一 夜打押寄), the artwork is part of a series based on the highly acclaimed kabuki epic chūshingura (忠臣蔵).


Chūshingura is a fictionalized account of the Akō Incident of 1701. The historical event revolves around 47 rōnins - masterless samurai - and their mission to exact honor for the demise of their lord. Although the rōnins were rightfully punished for their unlawful act - the story celebrates the key themes of unity, perseverance, loyalty, and self-sacrifice, making it one of Japan's most familiar historical stories.


These themes are best seen in this particular scene where the rōnins cross Ryugoku bridge in the shadows of the night while two comrades proceed with preparations in the foreground. Despite understanding the risk, the loyalty and fierce determination of the retainers push them to continue onwards in the bitter cold. The warriors were prepared to sacrifice themselves to carry out their final act of loyalty towards their master.

‘Chūshingura is a cultural phenomenon of a scale, complexity, and durability unusual in world history. Candidates for comparison might be King Arthur for England, Jeanne d’Arc for France, the Song of Ch’un-hyang for Korea, or the Alamo for the United States.’ 

- Henry D Smith, 2003 Monumenta Nipponica.

Famed Confucian philosopher Ogyū Sorai (荻生 徂徠 - 1666-1728) in his deliberations and sentencing of the ronin: “By righteousness we mean the path of keeping oneself free from any taint, and by law we mean the measuring rod for the entire country. A man controls his heart with decorum and his actions with righteousness. But they deliberately planned an act of violence without official permission. This is not to be tolerated under the law.”


The Hiroshige watchpad is hand-dyed using the anticatura patina technique, bringing an additional level of character and refinement to the watchpad. The patina is applied to highlight the laser-engraved artwork against the true color of the leather in the middle, before slightly darkening at the edges. 


No two leather patina products will ever look the same. Over time, they will take on their own character and personality by building on the original patina as it ages. 

  • SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 400mm x 270mm
  • Single watchpad
  • Genuine calf leather
  • Hand-dyed Patina
  • Engraved Hiroshige Artwork (Original artwork)
  • Price: JPY 32,800 (US$287)
  • (Price excludes shipping & any applicable taxes)
  • Deliveries starts end December 2021 to January 2022
  • Limited to 68 pieces

  • Subject to slight color variances at final delivery.
  • Watches depicted in pictures are for reference only. Watches are not available for order.