In the late sixteenth century, Japanese lacquer makers had a global clientele and vied to come up with innovative designs. They produced portable desks and boxes for the European, and especially the Portuguese, market. The style is known as nanban (literally, “southern barbarian”), meaning foreign. Bands of geometric patterns in mother-of-pearl reflect Moorish or Gujarati influence on this exotic, hybrid style. For a box with similar geometric bands in the collection of Suntory Museum of Art, see Nihon no bi to takumi (Japanese Beauty and Craftmanship), exh. cat. (Nagoya: Nagoya City Museum and Suntory Museum of Art, 1992), no. 39.