wajima museum of urushi art
 Museum | Facilities | Collections | Access | History and Culture of Wajima-Nuri
Wajima-nuri Modern lacquerware Asian lacquerware

Four tiered box
with design of old pine tree
in chinkin

Dish with design of cat
in chinkin

Vessel with gold gilding and
glacc inlay
 Author  Ishiya Seikuro
 Age  1848
 Size  18.0cm, 19.5cm, 25cm
  Author  Mae Taiho
  Age  1959
  Size  49.0cm, 6.5cm
  Area  Myanmar, Mandalay
  Age  Late 19th Century
  Size  51.0cm, 106.0cm
Relics from the Jomon period have been found in archaeological sites in Ishikawa Prefecture that have survived to this day and we have been able to retrace the historical usage of urushi in each particular area of the country. A characteristic unique to Wajima-nuri from the Noto peninsula in the use of powdered diatomaceous earth generally known as jinoko. According to the archives remaining at Juzo shrine (1476) and red-urushi doors made for the shrine (1524) , it seems that early Wajima-nuri was already in existence in the Muromachi period. Wajima was a major seaport for trade on the Sea of Japan side of the country and this enables the town to spread Wajima-nuri throughout Japan. Now, Wajima produces many urushi artists who have received prize at famous exhibitions.

A piece of Urushiware is produced through the many hands of skillful artisans. First, the most appropriate kind of wood is chosen from a number of varieties. Next, in the process of kyushitsu (the application of layers of urushi) cloth is used to reinforce the rims, and undercoats mixed with jinoko are applied. The quality of urushiware-which includes its high strength, surface beauty, and refined shapes-depends on how well the kyushitsu stage has been done. Chinkin is a technique in which a design is carved into the urushi surface with a chinkin chisel urushi is rubbed into the grooves and then gold or silver leaf or keshi-fun is put into these lines. Makie is a traditional way of decorating urushiware. Motifs are drawn with urushi on the surface and makie powder is sprinkled on before the urushi has dried.

Wajima Museum of Lacquer (Urushi) Art    ■11, Shijugari, Mitomori-machi, Wajima City, Ishikawa 928-0063
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■Tel.+81-(0)768-22-9788 Fax.+81-(0)768-22-9788
■E-mail urushiart@ca1.wannet.jp
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