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Akari Light Sculpture
Iconic Designs

Akari Light Sculpture

About the Design

It was a trip to Japan in the spring of 1951 that inspired artist and designer Isamu Noguchi (1904–88) to create the Akari light sculpture. Noguchi was passing through the city of Gifu, in central Japan, and observed a traditional nighttime festival in which fishermen use cormorants to help them catch fish. Each boat was equipped with a chochin lantern to light its way. Noguchi — one of the 20th century’s most inventive artists — was enraptured with the beauty of these traditional decorative lamps, which were made locally from mulberry bark and bamboo.

The artist met with Gifu’s mayor, who explained that he was seeking a way to reinvigorate his city’s lantern industry. Aiming to bring the chochin’s traditional design into the 20th century, Noguchi made multiple prototypes with an incandescent bulb in place of a candle. He named the updated lantern Akari, which means both illumination and lightness in Japanese. Noguchi debuted his Akari light sculpture at an exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in Kamakura in 1952. It caught on immediately, not only as a piece of art but also as a functional design.

Since 1951, Noguchi’s Akari lanterns have been handcrafted in Gifu. Fabricators stretch bamboo ribbing across molded wood forms, then glue washi paper — made from the bark of the mulberry tree — to the inside and outside of the resulting frame. Once the glue dries, the shape is set, and the internal wood form can be disassembled and removed. The lanterns are collapsible, a traditional feature that Noguchi insisted on keeping. They can thus be shipped flat around the world in shallow boxes or slender envelopes, and then easily unpacked and installed. This feature contributes to the sculpture’s practicality. As Noguchi was fond of saying, “All you require to start a home are a room, a tatami and Akari."

Isamu Noguchi Akari Light Sculpture

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Isamu Noguchi Akari UF-3Q Light Sculpture
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Dronten, NL
Akari UF-3Q floor lamp designed by Isamu Noguchi, 1951. Manufactured by Ozeki & Co. in Japan. Bambu structure covered by washi paper supported by a coated metal base. Wired for U.S...
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Mid-20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps

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Early and Rare 45XL Akari Pendant by Isamu Noguchi for Ozeki, 1950s
By Isamu Noguchi, Ozeki & Co. Ltd. 1
Located in Echt, NL
Early 45XL Akari lamp in excellent condition. Designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1951 Produced by Ozeki & Co., Ltd. New old stock, 4 items available! Model 45XL is a square ...
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Isamu Noguchi 14A Floor Lamp Washi Paper Bamboo, Japan
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Akari Model 9A Light Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi
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Isamu Noguchi "Akari" 22N Lamp, 1980s
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"Akari Light Sculpture" model 22N designed by Isamu Noguchi. Manufactured in 1980s. There are some visible turns but it has no problem in practical use. Includes an original box. A l...
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Monumental Akari Light Sculpture Model UF4-31N by Isamu Noguchi
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Isamu Noguchi Akari V2 / T2, Ozeki, 1951
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern More Lighting

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Isamu Noguchi Akari 40XP / T1, Ozeki, 1951
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 6a, Ozeki, 1951
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

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Isamu Noguchi, Akari Mod. 30n Ceiling Light, Ozeki & Co Ltd., Japan, c1980
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 10A, Ozeki, 1951
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps

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Isamu Noguchi, Akari Paper Pendant Light, Ozeki & Company Ltd, Japan, c1980
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Located in London, GB
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Akari Model 7A Light Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi
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Located in Glendale, CA
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 60F / BB3, Ozeki, 1951
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Akari 35N by Isamu Noguchi, Ozeki, 1951
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Isamu Noguchi Akari Floor Lamp, Model 14A
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Akari Model 22N Light Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 11A, Ozeki, 1951
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Isamu Noguchi Akari A, Ozeki, 1951
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Isamu Noguchi, Akari Mod.22N Table Lamp, Daiko, Japan, C1980
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 3X, Ozeki, 1951
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Noguchi Akari 1AS Table Lamp
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 125F, Ozeki, 1951
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Noguchi Akari Floor Lamp UF4-33N
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 33N, Ozeki, 1951
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Located in Paris, FR
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Isamu Noguchi Akari 45A, Ozeki, 1951
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Akari 45A by Isamu Noguchi, Ozeki, 1951
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Located in Paris, FR
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Isamu Noguchi Akari 1N, Ozeki, 1951
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Located in Paris, FR
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

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Isamu Noguchi Akari V2 / BB3 Stand, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 2P, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

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Isamu Noguchi Akari M, Ozeki, 1951
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Located in Paris, FR
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Isamu Noguchi Akari 70EN / BB3, Ozeki, 1951
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Located in Paris, FR
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Isamu Noguchi Akari L2, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Lanterns

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Isamu Noguchi Akari 50EN / BB2 Stand, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
An Akari model "50EN" on "BB2" base by the artist Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) Original shade in washi & bamboo rims. Structure in black lacquered metal & pebble base in cast iron and...
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 33X, Ozeki, 1951
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Metal

Isamu Noguchi Akari 45X, Ozeki, 1951
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Metal

Isamu Noguchi Akari YA1 / T1 stand, Ozeki, 1951
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Located in Paris, FR
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 25N x Kris van Assche, Ozeki & Galerie Downtown Laffanour
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Located in Paris, FR
An Akari model « 25N X Kris Van Assche » Original shade in washi, bamboo rims & flowers images created by the Fashion Designer Kris Van Assche, formerly at the head of Dior Homme S...
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps

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Isamu Noguchi 'Akari' Pendant Mod. 45A, Steph Simon, France, c1950
By Steph Simon, Isamu Noguchi
Located in London, GB
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Large Early J1 Akari Pendant by Isamu Noguchi for Ozeki, 1950s
By Isamu Noguchi, Ozeki & Co. Ltd. 1
Located in Echt, NL
Early Large J! Akari lamp in excellent condition. Designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1951 Produced by Ozeki & Co., Ltd. New old stock! Model J1 is a large square shaped pendant ...
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20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Metal

Isamu Noguchi, Akari 50EN Pendant, Ozeki & Co Ltd, Japan 1955
By Isamu Noguchi, Ozeki & Co. Ltd. 1
Located in London, GB
Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988) was an artist, furniture designer, ceramicist, theatre designer and landscape architect. In 1951, he began designing Akari Light Sculptures – 100 of them ...
Category

Vintage 1950s Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

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Isamu Noguchi Akari 45X, Ozeki, 1951
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Metal

Model Number UF3-Q Table/Floor Lamp by Isamu Noguchi for Akari
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Model Number UF3-Q table/floor lamp by Isamu Noguchi for Akari. Out of model production designed and manufactured in Japan circa, 1980s. Rice paper, enameled metal. Original cord. Re...
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 45X, Ozeki, 1951
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Category

Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

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Isamu Noguchi Akari 45X / BB3, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
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Isamu Noguchi Akari 45XN / BB1 stand, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

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Akari 25N by Isamu Noguchi, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps

Materials

Metal

Akari 55F by Isamu Noguchi, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
An Akari model “55F” by the famous artist Isamu Noguchi Original shade in washi & bamboo rims Structure in black lacquered metal Hand-made form realized by Ozeki Company, Gifu, Ja...
Category

Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Metal

Isamu Noguchi Akari UF3-XN, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
An Akari model « UF3-XN » by Isamu Noguchi Original shade in washi & bamboo rims Structure & base in black lacquered metal Hand-made form realized by Ozeki Company, Gifu, Japan Ser...
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps

Materials

Metal

Isamu Noguchi Akari 112D, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
An Akari model « 112D » by Isamu Noguchi Original shade in washi & bamboo rims Structure in black lacquered metal Hand-made form realized by Ozeki Company, Gifu, Japan Series sta...
Category

Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Metal

Isamu Noguchi Akari J1, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
An Akari model « J1 » by Isamu Noguchi Light sculptural column Original shade in washi & bamboo rims Hand-made form realized by Ozeki Company, Gifu, Japan Series started in 1951 ...
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Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

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Sculptural Table Lamp by Isamu Noguchi Akari Series 3 X
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Vintage Akari lamp designed by Isamu Noguchi. The timeless Noguchi design provides a sculptural form as well as a warm glowing source of light. Akari model 3 X light sculpture by ...
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Late 20th Century Japanese Japonisme Table Lamps

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Isamu Noguchi Akari 140XL, Ozeki, 1951
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Paris, FR
An Akari model « 140XL » by Isamu Noguchi Light sculptural column Original shade in washi & bamboo rims Hand-made form realized by Ozeki Company, Gifu, Japan Series started in 19...
Category

Vintage 1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Metal

Isamu Noguchi, Table Lamp, Akari Model, Lacquered Metal, circa 1980, Japan
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Nice, Cote d' Azur
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), Table lamp, Akari model, Base in black lacquered metal, The top of the lamp in washi paper globe, circa 1980, Japan. Measures: Height 70 cm, diameter 40 ...
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Vintage 1980s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

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Isamu Noguchi Akari 70N Light Sculpture
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Dronten, NL
Akari 70N lamp designed by Isamu Noguchi, 1951. Manufactured by Ozeki & Co. in Japan. Bambu structure covered by washi paper. Rewired for U.S. standards. New cord and canopy from N...
Category

Mid-20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Bamboo, Paper

Isamu Noguchi Akari 33N Light Sculpture
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Dronten, NL
Akari 33N lamp designed by Isamu Noguchi, 1951. Manufactured by Ozeki & Co. in Japan. Bambu structure covered by washi paper. Wired for U.S. standards. This fixture has one socke...
Category

Mid-20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Bamboo, Paper

Pair of Isamu Noguchi Akari 10A Floor Lamps
By Ozeki & Co. Ltd. 1, Isamu Noguchi
Located in Glendale, CA
Pair of Isamu Noguchi Akari 10A floor lamps. The shades are made from handmade washi paper and bamboo ribs with Noguchi Akari manufacturer's stamp. Akari light sculptures by Isamu No...
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21st Century and Contemporary Japanese Anglo-Japanese Floor Lamps

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Early Isamu Noguchi Lamps by Akari
By Akari, Isamu Noguchi
Located in Palm Springs, CA
A beautiful pair of very early Isamu Noguchi designed light sculptures by Akari. Likely 1960’s vintage. From a prominent estate in the Midwest. One of the shades is original. The oth...
Category

20th Century Japanese Table Lamps

Materials

Iron

Isamu Noguchi Akari Floor Lamp
By Isamu Noguchi
Located in Dronten, NL
Poetic Isamu Noguchi Akari floor lamp, model UF4-J1. The light sculpture is created from handmade washi paper and bamboo ribbing, supported by a metal frame. Akari Light Sculptu...
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Mid-20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps

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Akari Model 24N Light Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi
By Isamu Noguchi, Akari, Ozeki & Co. Ltd. 1
Located in Glendale, CA
Akari model 24N light sculpture by Isamu Noguchi. The shade is made from handmade washi paper and bamboo ribs with Noguchi Akari manufacturer's stamp. Akari light sculptures by Isamu...
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More Isamu Noguchi Designs
Cyclone Table
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Average Price
$5,633
Number Available
4
Cyclone Table
Materials
Metal, Laminate, Steel, Plywood, Wood
Styles
Mid Century Modern
The playful Cyclone table, designed by Isamu Noguchi (1904–88), initially wasn’t a table at all. But the versatile artist, who both worked across disciplines and used widely varying materials, was likely accustomed to things not going exactly as planned.  The insatiably curious son of a Japanese poet and an Irish-American writer, Noguchi yearned to become a sculptor from a young age. He was so moved by the abstract sculpture of Constantin Brancusi — who he assisted in Paris — that he spent se...
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