Wajima NuriWajima Lacquer Ware

It is "door (shunuritobira) where the oldest thing was made with Wajima Nuri in the Muromachi era painted in red", but, by remains investigations, Laquer Ware and tool in the Kamakura era are found,
It turns out that Laquer Ware was made in the older times. In the Edo era, we were used as solid Laquer Ware in nation-wide farmhouse and house of merchant.
When it was the Meiji era, we came to be used in restaurant or inn, and luxurious lacquer inlaid with gold and lacquer work came to be gradually attached.

Although the oldest piece of Wajima Nuri is the shunuri-tobira made in the Muromachi period (1392-1573), other items and tools have been found during surveys of archaeological sites that date back to the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Lacquer ware is therefore known to have been made much earlier. During the Edo period (1600-1868), Wajima Nuri was known for its durability and was being used in the homes of farmers and merchants up and down the country. By the end of the 19th century it was also being used in restaurants and inns and designs gradually became grander and more decorative.

It is impossible to tell by looking at a finished article but those parts which might easily be broken are reinforced with cloth and coat after coat of lacquer have been applied. Lavish decoration is sometimes applied by incising a design into the lacquer and filling it with colored lacquer. This is the chinkin technique, where as maki-e is the application of metallic decoration, usually in gold. A wide range of tableware is being produced besides some smaller pieces of furniture.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Groundwork structure is thing by the next technique or technique.

    After having applied unrefined varnish to bare wood, "help put on, "help put on cloth" using hemp which applied thing lacquer" or lawn; osurukoto.

    Repeat that you do grind when you apply thing which mixed the U.S. seaweed and "Wajima base powder" with unrefined varnish.

    Final coating loses "final coating of lacquer" or "roiro coat" using purified lacquer.

    When do decoration, thing by lacquer inlaid with gold or lacquer work.

    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.

    When you encounter Chinese brocade or bending, mold using "kokuso lacquer".


    Raw materials

    Assume lacquer natural lacquer.

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


  • Work scenery

    Generally, we can explain at four stages when process of lacquering greatly separates.
    At first we make "bare wood" to each form from high trees of solidity. At this stage, it may be said that the skill of craftsman finishing to appropriate drying state of raw wood to get bare wood without distortion and correct dimensions is point.
    Bare wood made by woodworker is passed to furring before advancing to coating process. Finish condition of durability and final coating of Laquer Ware depends on the quality of this groundwork work; even if untie, is not exaggeration.
    We finally begin coating when we pass through groundwork process. Lacquer repeats "grind many times when we paint", and priming, average coat, final coating and process advance. Moisture is required so that lacquer which we painted with "dries", and one to "harden" may be plain than we dry.
    Laquer Ware of errand has much finish only for final coating, but may usually give picture and design more. We call this "decoration". Line carves design in aspect that we did and does final coating of lacquer, and, "lacquer work to sow gold silver dust to decoration, and to attach," there is "mother-of-pearl" that to attach gold leaf there, and "lacquer inlaid with gold" representing pattern of gold streak cuts foil of shell in form that it is likely and decorates.
    Then let's decide to see some main processes.

    Process 1: Bare wood

    Woodworker is divided into four kinds by the process, too. Bowl bare wood saws potter's wheel and makes bowl, bowl, round thing including plate. Materials use zelkova, mizumezakura. Tool other than potter's wheel planes. Bowl woodworker all makes plane by oneself using **dogu.

    Armor-back held-flag bare wood

    It is called corner thing (thing to rake) bare wood. Materials form nest of boxes, inkstone case, low dining table, square tray using expectation mainly. Tool saw, plane, chisel or model. We use woodworking machines such as automatic planes well.

    Bending bare wood

    We soak thin board into water and soften and bend and make round tray, Greek cross in a circle tray, lunch box. Materials are straight-grained board boards of expectation mainly. Add tool to woodwork instrumentation, and models for bending called saw, plane, hatchet (machete) and korogashi.

    Magnolia obovata place (cheeks pheasant)

    Craftsman who begins to reduce complicated forms such as soundless and stealthy steps, one side of the story or mouth of Choshi. Materials create tatami-room table, shelf, flower stand using hoo, wig, expectation. We add tool to woodwork instrumentation and we play saw, plane, chisel, knife and it is kind, model, but uses a lot bean plane to sharpen particularly complicated curved surface.

    Process 2: The groundwork

    Groundwork coat corrects the joint and gnarl of bare wood and reinforces part which is easy to ache and is process to make strong, minute tohada. Tool uses cutting board (work top), spatula, painter knife, plane. Grind potter's wheel, whetstone are used by grind (polish thing). Process called one side place, two sides place, three sides place that plastered base powder to give durability characterizing Wajima Nuri is included here.

    Process 3: Final coating

    We divide good-quality final coating lacquer into several times and paint by brush. We finish and finish by brush and paint and do after we take garbage and pay small Chile by brush, and we hand, and wild charge account did appropriate quantities of lacquer by brush. We pick up Chile which attached during work by shaft of a quill and lacquer work writing brush of chicken carefully and dry while reversing in turn bath not to have lacquer dripping.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 4: Decoration

    There is kind for decoration that is decoration stage. Work to repeat that we polish while ryoshoku sharpening final coating more smoothly in kentan (we polish and finish), and rubbing lacquer. We give transparent luster like mirror. Finally, it is delicate process to polish up with soft skin and finger of person without leaving wound like minor detail.

    Lacquer work

    Along design for lacquering that copied sketch which we described in Washi Paper, we draw pattern with lacquer and it sows silver dust and touches. Besides, we plaster with lacquer to hotness and others and we study hard and give luster of gold and silver. Lacquer work has various expression methods such as flat lacquering, clouded gold lacquer (we begin to polish and can wind up), takamakie (takamakie).

    Lacquer inlaid with gold

    We carve pattern using various lacquer inlaid with gold chisels to consult design for lacquering that copied sketch which we wrote to Washi Paper. We plaster lacquer thinly and wipe off extra lacquer in Washi Paper afterwards. Foil of gold and silver and push powder into pattern after having fixed extra foil when wipe off powder, bright pattern rises.

    Video is played when we click image


  • Close-up

    Secret of "this cloth we help put on close texture" solid Wajima Nuri

    Wajima Nuri which is said to be about durability in lacquering production center that is number if first-rate. The secret is thing by high technique using material only in Wajima. Another view seems to include legend called thing by "oracle", too, but ...


    Laquer Ware production center where has high popularity nationwide

    While it was regretted in hometown, Anamizu - Wajima interval was abolished in this end of March (2001) and did and got down on hold "railroad" Wajima Station. Both sides of way leaving for morning market street which is famous for fresh fish and shellfish are lined with shops of Laquer Ware when we walk cityscape of calm appearance leisurely. Probably Wajima is village of the known lacquering in Japan.

    The groundwork is mind, the essence of Wajima Nuri

    At first characteristic of Wajima Nuri being solid. It was demanded from life article that, anyway, born Wajima Nuri was durable. It is said, "we are nervous about the groundwork most." when we ask Yasuo Ichinaka (ichinakayasuo) of painter about the secret of durability. Various invention is concentrated only by process of this groundwork. We will see some processes in detail.
    At first do "bare wood hardening" (is pheasants) to let unrefined varnish soak into bare wood, and is enlarged, and reinforce cloth on parts which is easy to be broken such as relationships of bowl; "help put on cloth". Furthermore, "*mifu ke" (we find so) which applies lacquer to cloth and border of bare wood.
    Work using base powder (jinoko) only in Wajima begins in here. One side of aboriginality (ippenjitsuke) to mix rather coarse base powder with lacquer, and to paint with. Make base powder small; and two sides of aboriginality. Make smaller; and three sides of aboriginality. It is said that durability rises that lacquer soaks into minute hole of base powder and hardens. Of course, during each stage, polishing and grind to put up lacquered coherency enter. Problem such as arrival at cloth seno cloth slipping off at stage of final coating when base cannot keep strong is given. "Everything says that beginning is critical. Lacquering is the same, too."

    Furniture including desk is made in Wajima, too

    Is it oracle? "Use soil of Mt. Komine"

    It is said, "there is legend called oracle" for circumstances that base powder came to be used for. There is maid to use soil of Mt. Komine in Wajima, and diatomaceous earth (keisodo) is what was discovered. However, it is not usable for lacquering in the same state. We can finally use as base powder by burning it, and making powdery. Aside from the real intention of oracle, we are surprised in challenge and wisdom of ancient people how make up strong Laquer Ware. We may right say passion of craftsman. Base powder Festival is performed every year in Mt. Komine in June and we remember ancestral labor and seem to still thank.

    Fresh surprising coffee cup as for the advantage called insulation characteristics

    Appearance and luster are points of the finish

    On seeing quality that painted, and rose when "appearance and luster are finished neatly, is glad. Appearance keeping lacquered thickness neatly. It is said, it is evidence that the groundwork did well. For example, appearance of the finish worsens without there being cloth well when we do not polish at the time of bare wood hardening well.
    It is element which is important to color of Laquer Ware. "Color changes by color and lacquered compounding, weather (when we paint with lacquer). State of drying changes even if we think that we were able to paint in color just as wanted when it will rain tomorrow, and it is in color different from what thought when we dried several days later today. It is delicate. Therefore, in fact, order painting in this color is very difficult." When hear favorite color of Ichinaka, "ancient vermilion (kodaishu). Rich good color that black was delicately mixed in in red. But compounding is very difficult."

    Ichinaka who comments on kind of color with real bowl

    Thing which improves good thing 100 years ago, and is new

    Painter of Wajima serves as producer-like work to think about form and design. In addition, characteristic of Wajima Nuri includes sale-style called peddling. The painter goes around nation-wide regular customer and we take order and sell product. It is old and, by historical sale system which used goods-carrying merchant ship, is still inherited. As "we can talk with visitor directly, request is hard to be listened to in various ways." Ichinaka has a large number of regular customers in Osaka and Hyogo, Tokyo, too.
    When ask about ambition of Ichinaka in the future; "improve good article around 100 years ago, and want to make new thing. Thing at the time has many good things including design. There is thing not finished still making with design which father thought about. Saying is considerably old thing, but want to complete it; as for saying is; look happy. We think that we want you to build up old, new article by all means.

    As for the accessories of Wajima Nuri including earrings

    Craftsman profile

    Yasuo Ichinaka

    Second generation painter who began work with 18 years old. We handle final coating from bare wood hardening


    How to sell, way of buying only by Laquer Ware

    Expensive article that Laquer Ware still takes trouble and time of craftsman in old days. It is not stuff to be able to easily buy. It is system called bowl scheme (bowl grows on) to have been devised there. It inflected as method that painter of Wajima sold Laquer Ware to.
    For example, we pull lottery and choose alone claimant when ten buyers gather and contribute the price by 1/10, and Laquer Ware is completed one year later. We collect the price again and pull lottery afterwards in the next year. Work for 10 years is promised for painter, and thing which we cannot obtain when buyer does not save money for ten years by any chance is one year, and expectation to have possibilities to enter hand is born.
    Interesting system that wisdom of seller and buyer produced. If it is the present age, lacquering savings which took advantage of final coating garumadeno time after we order are good. Pleasure of waiting interval is house of luxury.

    • We taste luxury that craftsman meets in own preference



Industrial art object name Wajima Nuri
Phonetic symbol wajimanuri
Classification of industrial art object Laquer Ware
Main product Household articles, accessories, furniture
Main production area Ishikawa / Wajima-shi
The designation date May 10, 1975

Contact information

■local production associations

Wajima Laquer Ware commerce and industry cooperative association
24-55, Kawaimachi, Wajima-shi, Ishikawa
TEL: 0768-22-2155
FAX: 0768-22-2894

■Associated exhibit space, facility


We do not know from finished product, but we put cloth on fragile place and we paint with lacquer many times and are repeated. Luxurious design of lacquer inlaid with gold and lacquer work is acquired there. In addition, we repair damaged Laquer Ware and can use like new article again.

Even though one would never guess by looking at the finished product, fabric is pasted onto the more fragile areas and lacquer is layered on many times over. Exquisite gold inlay or gold-sprinkled lacquer patterns are then applied on top. Damaged lacquerware can also be repaired and used again as if it were new.

How to make

Using bare wood made with high quality wood, we put cloth on fragile place with lacquer. For groundwork coating, we mix base powder with lacquer and we paint with three times of twice and paint stack, place where is easy to be short more with unrefined varnish. And we give decoration such as lacquer inlaid with gold or lacquer work after having done middle coating, final coating.

A rough wooden base is made from high-quality wood and fabric is pasted on to the more fragile areas with lacquer. For the base coat, zinoko (diatomite powder) is mixed in with lacquer, and applied in layers two or three times; next, raw lacquer is applied directly to those parts that may chip easily. Then, after intermediate and top coats have been applied, decorations like gold inlays or gold-sprinkled lacquer are added.

Voice from production center

We are reborn in mint condition by Wajima Nuri repairing even damaged thing, and repainting and can use for a long time.