This brooch is made from wood, coated with urushi lacquer, and decorated with gold and silver powder. In urushi art, this is known as the maki-e technique. The cloud pattern was frequently used on traditional Buddhist ornaments. It is classical, but also features in popular art as well. Traditionally, the color vermilion was thought to ward off evil and bring good luck.
For more information on this item, please see the story behind its creation.