Japanese unique traditional craft; Wajima nuri Lacquerware

 In the previous entry titled “Japanese unique pottery:Arita yaki (Porcelain products in Arita,Saga prefecture)“,I have introduced one of famous potteries called “Arita yaki” in Saga prefecture,which is located in the northwest part in the Kyushu island.

In this entry, I would like to introduce another famous traditional crafts in Japan called ” Wajima Nuri (Wajima Lacquerware)”.

I think Wajima nuri lacquer is very Japanese and represents our traditional crafts very well.

The technical used to make this durable lacquerware was developed by the discovery of jinoko (powder obtained from the soil in Wajima city, Ishikawa prefecture).

Ishikawa prefecture is located in the main island “Hon shu”.

How Wajima nuri (Wajima lacquerware) is made..

1.  Wajima nuri lacquerware making starts from wood called “Ke ya ki”. Forming this wood into a bowl will be the first step done to make the beautiful lacquerware.

The wood used to curved and shaped into a bowl has been left and dried for many years.

2. Next step is nu-no ki-se step; A piece of fabric is plastered onto the fragile breakable parts of the bowl.

3. Then, Jizuke step; Lacquer (which we call U-ru-shi”) , mixed with ji-no-ko  (powder obtained from the soil) are applied to the bowl and then polished. They repeat this process.

U-ru-shi (lacquer) is obtained from sap of the u-ru-shi tree. The sap is collected,refined and aged. Hardened/dried U-ru-shi (lacquer) is water proof and protect the object from the heat. It makes them very durable lacquerware.

4. Then, Uwa-nuri step; Good quality lacquer is applied to the bowl with brush

5. After that, Chi-n-ki-n (gold foil)/Ma-ki-e step;It is the step where lacquerware is drawn on with a brush,engraving with a chisel is done,and gold,silver is embedded in the lacquerware.

6. Last step is called “ro-shi-ro”. Polishing the bowl with charcoal or applying more lacquer to make the finished  product

 You can view various kinds of Japanese Lacquerware at Nihon Ichiban website here.

You can watch how Wajima lacquerware are made via video at Japanese Government Internet TV website here.

Also, if you had a chance to visit Wajima city, Ishikawa prefecture, you can visit Wajima Lacquerware museum. You can find the information on the museum here.


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Jun 10, 2014 | 0 | Japan

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