Copper, brass, sterling silver, and CZ

2.75 x 2 x .875 inches

Photographed by artist

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Hidden. Mystery. Secret. These words remind me of the Fushimi Inari Shrine one of the most sacred sites in Kyoto, Japan. Thousands of red Tori-i gates line the path to the top of Mt. Inari setting a quiet and holy mood. The image of the gates and the many sculptures of sacred foxes that populate the site inspired me to evoke these feelings through my work. In the piece, we see hints of the sacred fox through gaps in the door prompting the viewer to open the gate and reveal the image of the fox. A sacred object is placed behind a meshed dome in the back of the brooch where it can’t be seen except through the rough mesh that encloses it. This is a mystery for the wearer to keep, not for the viewer to see. The 5 layers of copper Tori-i create a sense of depth and distance, enhancing the mysteriousness of the sacred symbol hidden behind the door.


Kae Kurimoto is a Japanese jewelry designer and maker currently residing in Long Beach, California. She learned jewelry making and metal smithing at Long Beach City College where she was the recipient of the Ebell Club Long Beach Scholarship in 2016 and the Myrtle Byrd Memorial Scholarship in 2017.

Born and raised in Gifu, Japan, a small town in the middle of the Japanese countryside, she moved to Tokyo to work for a jewelry wholesale and retail company. During that time she developed a passion for art and jewelry making that continued to grow until she became inspired to move to the U.S. to learn how to design and fabricate jewelry.

The source of her inspiration resides in a desire to create new things which evoke a sense of fun and excitement. Curiosity and imagination drive her work, with a spirit of unending experimentation in her search for new and interesting texture, color and value.

Inspired by both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture her designs reflect the clean and simple aesthetic found in architecture, calligraphy and nature.

“I believe jewelry can make people excited and also should be wearable. I want to maintain unique but clean and efficient design. I hope I can share fun with people via my jewelry.”

- kae kurimoto -