Kawatsura ShikkiKawatsura Lacquer Ware

It is done with opening that we gave vassal an order for younger brother of feudal lord who ruled over this district in the Kamakura era painting arms with lacquer using beech and lacquer cut and brought down from local mountain as side job.
It was from the middle of Edo era that the making of bowl began in earnest and developed later around present Kawatsura, Odate, 3 districts of three pear and prospered as production center of public life article.

The beginnings of this craft go back to the Kamakura period (1185-1333), when the younger brother of the lord of the fief who ruled this area, ordered the retainers to take up lacquering pieces of armor and weaponry as a job, using locally tapped lacquer and Japanese beech cut from the mountains in the area. The making of bowls began in earnest in the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868) and by the end of the period work was concentrated on the three districts of Kawatsura in what is now Inakawa-cho, Odate and Minashi and the making of everyday pieces of household goods flourished in what had become a production center.

The carcasses of all the pieces are made of wood on to which natural lacquer is applied. There is no one particular feature that characterizes this ware but, because emphasis is placed on the undercoating to produce a very hard finish, it is extremely robust and is also reasonably priced. A wide variety of products are produced ranging from bowls, plates, trays and stacking boxes up to items of furniture.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Bare wood structure is thing by any of the following.

    When it is in turnery, you use potter's wheel stand and birokurogannao, and mold. In this case, we grind "boiling" and "incense drying".

    When you look good with "corner thing", do "we saw and bend" "ryufu ke" or "tenon composing type".

    When you encounter bending, do "bending" using "the time".

    Furring is thing by any of the following.

    After having done unrefined varnish and "kakariji" using charcoal powder when we look good with "*jishitaji", do "ground coating" using unrefined varnish.

    When you look good with "the astringent juice groundwork", do "ground charcoal is dated" "persimmon grind" and "ground coating" using unrefined varnish.

    When we look good with "the Urushimoto groundwork", "setsufunfu ke" "be rusted" and "we grind the texture" "base powder charge account" using "we help put on cloth" "rust" using "seaweed lacquer" do "ground coating" using unrefined varnish.

    Coating is thing by any of the following.

    When you look good, perform "final coating of lacquer" of coating and final coating in undercoating using purified lacquer. In this case, use lacquer brush for coating.

    After doing "bare black lacquer" undercoating to use and middle coating when we look good with "roiro coating", and having done final coating using "roiro lacquer", roiro finish.

    Thing by lacquer inlaid with gold to use o which "is lacquer inlaid with gold cancer" for when we do decoration or lacquer work.

    Raw materials

    Assume lacquer natural lacquer.

    Assume bare wood material having materials which are equal to hoo, tochi, zelkova or beech or these.


  • Work scenery

    Robustness greatly distributes Kawatsura Shikki of features and is made after three next processes.
    It is coating process to paint with bare wood process before beginning to carve bare wood from raw wood, durable groundwork process that we cannot miss to do to make, lacquer. When we give decoration such as lacquer work or lacquer inlaid with gold, decoration process increases in this back.
    The making of Kawatsura Shikki needing time of one year before completion from raw wood. We explain process of complete sets such as bowl or bowl here.

    Process 1: Raw wood

    tochi, beech are used for wadded silk garment mainly, and Magnolia obovata is used for corners thing such as tray or nest of boxes. Maintenance of mountain becomes important not to run out of raw wood and tree that it is because big tree more than 200 years years old becomes Haraki.

    Process 2: Timber conversion

    After having cut raw wood into round slices, add and size of thing which we want to make and cut and bring down into a block form to approximate size.

    Process 3: areban (arabiki)

    Chip of wood which performed timber conversion is sharpened in form of container.
    We attach chip of wood to potter's wheel and we saw the outside rudely and dig out the inside. After having dug out (we call Woodcraft which digs out, and is made turnery with potter's wheel.), we soak in water and pull kusu.

    Process 4: Drying

    For one month, we leave unattended in smoke and dry incense. It is process to reduce confusion of bare wood.
    Moisture of bare wood dries in around 10% to be stable.

    Process 5: shijoban (shiagebiki)

    We perform shijoban by drying after dimensions were stable. We are attached to potter's wheel again and sharpen the surface and finish beautifully.
    We begin to sharpen part equal to foot of bowl (called "lower last joke"), and form of bowl is completed.
    It is to here, and bare wood process is the end.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 6: We polish ground charcoal reckoning, persimmon

    We begin groundwork process to make up the firm groundwork from here. At first we apply as if looking at thing which we mixed persimmon juice and Park charcoal powder with, and stroking by brush (brush made of straw) and polish if we dry.

    Process 7: Ground coating

    We apply to stencil unrefined varnish by brush which we made with tail of horse when persimmon juice dries.
    We suppress penetration of moisture to bare wood by repeating persimmon grind and five or six times of ground coating, and it is possible for the groundwork of solid Laquer Ware which confusion does not come to.
    Here is groundwork process.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 8: Ground coating, average coating, final coating, final coating of lacquer

    If ground coating dries by coating process, we begin to polish and polish when it is repeated and paints with lacquer, and undercoating, average coating finishes with a coat. We paint with lacquer of color that is almost final coating so as to paint. We perform grind between each process, but after "final coating of lacquer" being said to be "one just painted" as for the finish, and having painted, we dry without polishing and are high technique to provide the smooth surface.
    Magnificence is born more if we give decoration such as lacquer inlaid with gold, lacquer work after this.


  • Close-up

    Tradition Kawatsura Shikki which was brought up in living of farming and mountain village

    Kawatsura Shikki characterized by simplicity that established weight for practical use reaches in now while gorgeous Laquer Ware increases while we are used in farming and mountain village of Akita by hand of local people. Technique of living that tradition of 800 years brought up gives warmth and presence of mind for meal while making it a principle to do rusticity.


    "It is usable to charges of grandchild" and is solid

    We paint direct bare wood with "persimmon juice stew" and "unrefined varnish" to suppress skewness of body section, and Kawatsura Shikki to bring up into solid Laquer Ware is article which it is said, "we can continue using to charges of grandchild" if we buy once, and is strong.
    Because local wood and lacquer tree have been used for raw materials as for the Kawatsura Shikki mainly by people living in local farming and mountain village, there is little gaudiness in decoration, and make it a principle to do what is right used; make.
    Kawatsura Shikki is old, and, in the Kamakura era, younger brother of Inaniwa lord of a castle Shigemichi Onodera, Prince way quadrature build hall in center made with current Laquer Ware and Old four Ohs as great painters Nojiri where it is, and it is done with opening what let vassal paint sheath, bow, armor of sword with lacquer. It is tradition technology born from mountain village which bloomed as production center of full-scale Laquer Ware in the Edo era.

    In one dust studio which there is not

    In studio where we called at to hear story, it was said to be saying "please close door immediately." to close door as soon as we entered room. Dust is powerful enemy for work of lacquering. It is Kenkichi Asano of painter to have told story this time. It is still young 44-year-old painter in the world of craftsman with much age. Young carrier which we paint with since 15 years old even if we untie already counts 30 years.
    "We understand the good Laquer Ware if we use." We talk so about difference in feel of a material. "Production centers painting plastic base with lacquer increase recently. We actually understand the difference in groundwork immediately if we use." The touch when we put on time and mouth which we held in hand is different from plastic thing at all. It becomes hot and cannot have to the surface with plastic immediately when we put hot juice, but does not determine such a thing in Laquer Ware which used tree for the groundwork. Different one is difference in warmth when we chose to tongue above all.

    Kawatsura Shikki which is made in quiet space

    Difference in teaching gave depth in technique

    Kawatsura Shikki will be production center succeeding in successor upbringing in Officially designated Traditional craft products production center that is number. It opens technical acquisition course and we distribute for stage including basic course, study course and are succeeding the skill of artisan now in the next generation. When Asano got work of coating, it is said that course like now had opportunity to be taught technique by many craftsmen although there was not. "Ways are different every senior. We might get yelled at from different senior when we painted in way that we learned. However, we stole way that fitted oneself thanks to grace from various one and were able to wear." While even the current training smiled wryly when probably the same thing would happen, he/she showed the skill of coating.

    The judgment of brush which we concentrated on is repeated

    We let lacquer brush with lacquer slide to container on the tip when we pick up container straight. We catch stock between containers which we have finished painting with when we look hard and repeat whether dust is not on after having painted while paying attention so that containers do not touch. Work reason in disfavor with dust, air of room which we closed do not move. There is not shaking of air by sound if we do not open mouth. Feeling concentrated in quiet space rises.
    Machine sound called "garfish" stopped quietness suddenly. "We sometimes upset top and bottom of container which we painted." with There was machine which turned regularly so that lacquer did not hang down in door.
    It is Laquer Ware created by this density.

    We turn regularly, and top and bottom is replaced

    We review value of Laquer Ware by new viewpoint

    Movement using Kawatsura Shikki for tableware for lunch of the prefecture becomes active recently. Of environmental endocrine disrupter affecting the generative function from plastic tableware melt, and tool is doubted. In addition, aluminum used for substitute is doubted with cause of Alzheimer symptom.
    In that respect, Laquer Ware that safety has been confirmed feels safe that we spend time. As for the trouble of handling, reputation from children of thing increasing somewhat is actually excellent when we use. "Originally it is Director Kohei Sato of Akita Laquer Ware industry cooperative association that told, it is firm Kawatsura Shikki, but develops more firm how to make not to be broken even if we treat a little violently.". It is most suitable saying "we prepare one at the time of entrance to school and are given and suggest method to continue using the same tableware until graduation." to learn that we treat thing carefully.
    We find really worth thing which the times of these past dozens of years have forgotten by experiencing custom to use tableware of Laquer Ware at school and may learn way of thinking valuing.
    It be said that the future of children using Laquer Ware is bright.

    Workmanship that I do not think that student receiving training made

    Craftsman profile

    Kenkichi Asano

    Since left junior high school, Kawatsura Shikki craftsman of a lacquering ray. As for "the mosquito net, room came out to feeling for dozens of years. Can affect request to "want to repair";


    For health and security of taking a lesson from the past children that demand security Kawatsura Shikki!

    Environmental endocrine disrupter, reproduction accident to the human body with "exogenous internal secretion disturbance chemical substance" and the natural world comes to be known exactly in the life; and early five years. They were apt to have illusion as if danger went away, but dangerous chemical substances of our surroundings did not decrease when they did not rise to topic. It is fetus and children who are still growing up to be damaged to environmental endocrine disrupter most.
    After time for 20 years, good point of Laquer Ware is just reviewed by different viewpoint after we exchange presents to tableware for lunch in Kawatsura Shikki for the first time when we want you to use good tableware of the feel for children. Laquer Ware which did not give all toxic substances was adopted to tableware of school lunch in local Inakawamachi.
    In Kawatsura Shikki Nara that established weight in using idea to send Laquer Ware to lunch tableware. Industrial art object which is apt to become price that hand is not over toward the public. However, originally Kawatsura Shikki which brought up technique assuming people of local farming and mountain village using in daily livings established production technology to endure use in rough field of handling called supply of food use newly.
    We were safe and knew new heart to value the comfortable feel and thing when we asked technique of Kawatsura Shikki which had been inherited ceaselessly for a long time of 800 years.



Industrial art object name Kawatsura Shikki
Phonetic symbol kawatsurashikki
Classification of industrial art object Laquer Ware
Main product Bowl, bowl, plate, tray, nest of boxes
Main production area Akita / Yuzawa-shi
The designation date December 15, 1976

Contact information

■local production associations

Akita Laquer Ware industry cooperative association
Kawatsuracho, Yuzawa-shi, Akita character Odate Nakano 142-1
TEL: 0183-42-2410
FAX: 0183-42-2633

■Associated exhibit space, facility


All the products are japan with woodenness. There is not conspicuous characteristic understanding at first sight, but we are very strong and controls price low because we put important point on the groundwork, and honesty finishes. It has a large selection from accessory to furniture.

Wood serves as the base of all Kawatsura shikki lacquerware products. While there is no single feature that distinguishes Kawatsura shikki lacquerware products at a glance, due to the great care taken in their base coating, they are extremely durable while still having a very reasonable price. Kawatsura shikki lacquerware features a rich assortment of products, from small accessories to furniture.

How to make

Corners thing such as nests of boxes does Magnolia obovata with materials, and we paint in the back where we painted with persimmon juice and unrefined varnish several times directly, and wadded silk garments such as bowls, bowls do tochi beech and dry finish in high technique to be said to be final coating of lacquer (paint with flower). Decoration paints in lacquer work, lacquer inlaid with gold.

Round products such as bowls and pots are made from the wood of horse chestnut and beech trees. Square products such as tiered lunch boxes are made from the wood of trees such as the Japanese magnolia. After the wooden base is made, it is coated with a mixture of persimmon tannin and raw lacquer many times for hardening. Then the advanced technique of hana-nuri lacquering is used for the middle coat of lacquer, and then the piece is allowed to dry. Maki-e gold dust or gold leaf drawings are then applied for decoration.

Voice from production center

Prevent you from using microwave oven, tableware dryer, polishing powder, scrubbing brush. In addition, please avoid direct rays of the sun. As we are strong in heat and acid, we are suitable even for hot thing, cold thing, vinegared, oily food and anything. As color is improved so as to embezzle, and texture comes out, please use at will.