You’re buying the wrong Murakami!! The unofficial guide to Gunjo & Lapis Lazuli

A few collectors may have missed the September 2014 Hidari Zingaro notice about the Gunjo and Lapis Lazuli Dobs. (Find the notice here and find the original sale here.) While the consequences are not as severe as a going the wrong way in a John Hughes screwball comedy, a surprised collector may receive a print slightly different than anticipated.

Yes, it’s Gunjo on the left and Lapis Lazuli on the right!

After profusely thanking their patrons, Murakami’s Hidari Zingaro website explains that the names of the Dobs have been mixed up. Hence the dob formerly known as And Then x 727 Ultramarine Gunjo changes to And then x 6 Lapis Lazuli: The Superflat Method and vice versa. They go on to explain that the confusion resulted from multiple name changes along with the simultaneous release of similar dobs (more specifically, six blue dob lookalikes). Hidari Zingaro filled orders based on the titles, not the pictures. However, if someone ordered a Lapis and counted on having the Dob with the stained nose and red tooth on the left they could make a swap—those Hidari Zingaro folks are swell!

Make sure to check the name on the print. Gunjo has the clean yellow nose!

Make sure to check the name on the print. Gunjo has the clean yellow nose!

Does the Murakami Gunjo/Lapis flip-flop have any lasting consequences? Well, trawling around on the internet, I can find no small number of merchants who advertise the two prints with the wrong original names—so I suppose they’ve failed to do their due diligence. Or not? The label on the boxes display the titles in Japanese, so maybe the sellers can’t read the titles––but Japanese sellers mix it up too! I suspect that sellers simply snap stock photos from their order forms (see a form in this post) or grab photos from the internet, all which have the titles mixed up.

The labels as they appear on the Kaikai Kiki box and print wrapping

The Sugimoto68 shop has the correct Lapis Lazuli available, but if you happen to grab a Gunjo or Lapis Lazuli elsewhere and you examine the print to find that the seller advertised a Dob print with an image that does not match the title, perhaps you can negotiate a small discount. Just show them pictures from the unofficial Gunjo/Lapis Lazuli guide!