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Feature Michelangelo of Echigo Uncho Ishikawa

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The power of sublime beauty evokes inspiration

Uncho is an immensely talented coordinator and is even called the Michelangelo of Echigo. Every one of his sculpture, whether it is carved out of wood or rock, his screen paintings, plaster work and shoji screens, dynamically express his world view. Trace the footsteps of Uncho, who still captivates people after 150 years.

Uncho Ishikawa (1814 – 1883) Born in Zoshigaya, Edo. Known as the master carver of Ishikawa School. Legend has it that he arrived in Echigo with another famous craftsman Gentaro Kobayashi and collaborated with him on the Kongo Rikishi statues at Mikuni Gongen Shrine in Mikuni Pass. He later marries into his wife’s family, the Sakais of Sanjo, but tales of him coming to Echigo on condition that he is given “good sake and chisels for life” and of his gambling, which resulted in him producing pieces for Eirinji Temple, give an idea to the sort of wild character he must have been.

Dogen Zenji Moko Chobuku

Ceiling carvings of Seifukuji Temple, Kaizando (Uonuma City)
Dogen Zenji Moko Chobuku

The carving depicts Priest Dogen putting a fierce tiger into submission

List of facilities where work by Uncho can be found

Yahiko & Sanjo



Juni Shrine

In Kamitsuchikura, Kamo City

Isurugi Shrine

Yoshinoya, Sanjo City

Honjoji Temple

1-1-20, Nishihonjoji, Sanjo City

Nagaoka & Kashiwazaki



Akiba Sanjakubo Daigongen

2-chome, Yachi, Nagaoka City (formerly Tochio City)

Takanori Shrine

Tochibori, Nagaoka City (formerly Tochio City)


280, Oaza Nakayama, Kawaguchi Town

Yuzawa & Uonuma



Eirinji Temple

1765, Negoya, Uonuma City

Seifukuji Temple Kaidozando

174, Oura, Uonuma City

Choonji Temple

371, Shiozawa, Minamiuonuma City

Ryukokuji Temple

Osaki, Minamiuonuma City

Anachi Juni Daimyojin

Anachi, Minamiuonuma City

Nio statues of Zuishoan

4595, Oaza Tsuchitaru, Yuzawacho, Minamiuonuma-gun

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