Wakasa NuriWakasa Lacquer Ware

As for the Wakasa Nuri, craftsman of lacquering of Kohama feudal clan located near Wakasa-wan Bay at the beginning of the Edo era got hint in technique of the making of Laquer Ware of Chugoku and we graphically designed state of the bottom of the sea and began. "Seaweed-patterned lacquering" (isokusanuri) was begun to knit by "chrysanthemum dust coat" (work pitch a camp paint) what repeated invention improved by this, and was born by pupil of the designer.
Method to be transmitted through to date to perform decoration in eggshell and gold leaf and silver foil in middle part of the 17th century was completed. Feudal lord at the time named this Wakasa Nuri, and, from place that we protected as side job of common soldier and recommended, various refined, beautiful designs such as "Kikusui ebb tide" (kikusuishioboshi) were devised.

The making of Wakasa Nuri began at the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868), when lacquerers of the Obama clan near Wakasa Bay started decorating their work with designs depicting elements of the ocean floor, having got the idea from techniques used in Chinese lacquer ware.
A technique called Kikujin-nuri was the result of repeated improvements which were made. Then apprentices of the craftsmen who had originally developed this technique came up with a variant they called Isokusa-nuri. In the middle of the 17th century, a method, which is still used to this day, was perfected for applying decoration using eggshell and gold or silver leaf. The feudal lord at the time called it Wakasa Nuri and because he encouraged lower ranking warriors of the Obama clan to take up the craft as an occupation, various refined and beautiful designs were devised.

The marine elements are depicted using such things as eggshell, mother-of-pearl, pine needles, Japanese cypress needles and rape seed. Added to this, gold leaf glitters among them like stars or jewels and being an almost exclusively hand-made craft, no two objects are ever the same. Chopsticks, cups and flasks for sake, tea items, vases and boxes all benefit from these engaging marine scenes of a craft.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Groundwork structure is thing by any of the following.

    After "helping put on cloth", and having applied oshi, "eyes woodcut print rust" when it is to thing except chopsticks, do "base powder groundwork structure" by repeating thing which mixed base powder and the U.S. seaweed with unrefined varnish, and applying.

    When it is on chopsticks, we lose "head charge account" using unrefined varnish or shugourushi.

    Groundwork finish is thing by any of the following.

    When you are to thing except chopsticks, do "groundwork woodcut print" using unrefined varnish.

    When it is on chopsticks, we grind "base surface for lacquering" using shugourushi.

    Design charge account is thing by any of the following.

    After having applied roiro hard lacquer, and having put eggshell when "eggshell is likely" and looks good, do "goto ri" using Aya lacquer.

    After having applied roiro hard lacquer when "shell is likely" and looks good, and having put shell, do "goto ri" using Aya lacquer.

    After having applied roiro hard lacquer when "we wake up, and it is likely" and looks good, and having woken up design to use Matuba, Hiba, rapeseed or chaff for, do "goto ri" using Aya lacquer.

    Clouded gold lacquer of design "sharpens" "wild grinder" using whetstone and work as "finish grinder".

    Do "trunk woodcut print" and "finish polish" after finish of design charge account does "luster coating" using shugourushi, and "wild charcoal grinder" using Park charcoal and biroiro charcoal did "charcoal grind" and "roiro finish grind".

    Using lacquer which black mats as for "the inner coating", black luster lacquer, Aya lacquer again haroiro lacquer do final coating.

    Raw materials

    Assume lacquer natural lacquer.

    Bare wood is thing by any of the following.

    When you are to thing except chopsticks, do with tochi, mizumezakura, zelkova, hinoki, hoo, wig or material having materials which are equal to these.

    When it is on chopsticks, do with material having materials which are equal to cherry tree, rose wood, a kind of thick-stemmed bamboo or these.

  • Work scenery

    Wakasa Nuri is made after process of approximately 60, but can greatly divide into some parts.
    At first "bare wood" which does timber conversion as dough from trees of zelkova, mizumezakura, tochi, cherry tree, chestnut, hoo having high solidity, and makes bare wood in each form in total. 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. We cannot look at part of this groundwork work in finished Laquer Ware. However, finish condition of durability and final coating of Laquer Ware depends on the quality of this groundwork work; even if untie, is not exaggeration. Arrival at cloth setoitta work reinforcing ground-cedar or podocarp-endodermis mixed with japan (kokuso) filling hole, slits such as junction or wound of bare wood and part which is easy to be hurt is included.
    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. Speed of this drying depends on daily weather and is part that technique of craftsman is called into question. Painter performs the last final coating with extreme caution not to attach a little dust and dusts either.
    Characteristic of Wakasa Nuri acquires design using eggshell, shell, Matuba, Hiba, and there is for "change coat" to let we repeat coating and grind, and the design appear. Then let's decide to see about main process.

    Process 1: We put cloth

    We lose skewness and sled of product and reinforce the joint and prevent bare wood noyaseyahibi breaking.

    Process 2: Furring

    We paint the whole with thing which we mixed unrefined varnish and base powder (thing which we baked clay and powdered) and seaweed with by brush evenly and flatten the surface. Furthermore, we paint with rust urushi (thing which could be rusted, and mixed dust with unrefined varnish) with spatula.

    Process 3: Middle coating

    After having done furring, we perform polishing the dried lacquered surface and paint with middle coating lacquer to stop that dust breathes in lacquer of design charge account.

    Process 4: Design charge account

    Design draws design by design of each craftsman from middle coating using eggshell, shell, Matuba, rapeseed.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 5: goto ri

    By work to paint with color lacquer more than two colors, and to repeat, color and luster peculiar to this goto riniyotte Wakasa Nuri are born.

    Process 6: Workman of metal-leaf covering

    We put gold leaf to product which finished goto rio and give unique elegant brightness. We express mellowness as depth of Wakasa Nuri.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 7: We see tokomi

    Keep strength waiting to product by seeing painting with lacquer, and repeating, and tokomi is technique to let various designs rise by clouded gold lacquer.

    Process 8: We polish stone

    This process uses wild whetstone, middle rough-grained whetstone stone, finish whetstone sequentially and polishes until design appears enough.

    Process 9: We polish charcoal

    After stone grind luster coating lacquer shine, and paint with lacquer, and raw materials and wild charcoal, average charcoal doing leave in hoo; is slippery, and use raw materials and ryoshokutan (roirosumi) to do sequentially, and polish lettuce carefully finely, and smooth off the surface still more.

    Process 10: Polishing

    We polish while rubbing oil dust which we mix dust and cloza oil and worked out with cloth and polish with thing which soaked silk floss with unrefined varnish next and polish up carefully to describe circle in palm, stomach of finger in Bengalese stripes (rubigo) and cloza oil last.


  • Close-up

    Express the beautiful bottom of the sea in Laquer Ware, Wakasa Nuri

    Wakasa Nuri is famous for mysterious design to hark back to the sea having high transparency, but of the other big; is characteristic. One craftsman performs all except the making of bare wood without being divided the work each process as for the Wakasa Nuri. Thought of craftsman is put to all the complexions seeming to be small.


    The beauty of nature which coating and repetition of clouded gold lacquer lay

    Unique design that is described with stars of night sky with the beautiful bottom of the sea is provided by technique of "clouded gold lacquer" which we used eggshell, shell, Matuba, white-cedar leaf, rapeseed, material of various nature including chaff for well. Kosaku Furukawa told, "there is legend that wind is strong because this place is close in the sea, and wind blows in the middle of work of coating, and is accompanied by chaff or sand, and was born from there." is Master of Traditional Crafts having been continued since charges of grandfather in the third generation of Furukawa Wakasa Nuri shop.
    Wakasa Nuri has history for approximately approximately 400 years. When "youth of painter appeared to Sotomo (in the outside) (scenic spot hitting outside of Gulf of Kohama) in the old days, this characteristic design is impressed by excessive beauty of the bottom of the sea and is informed when we expressed in Wakasa Nuri." Wakasa Nuri is industrial art object which expressed beauty of nature using material of nature.

    Wakasa Nuri which is said to have expressed design of the bottom of the sea

    "Design reckoning" to be possible only during winter

    Design to appear in clouded gold lacquer is fixed by work of "design charge account" to perform after having made coating of the groundwork on bare wood.
    "We are nervous most (this work). This design is basic of Wakasa Nuri and of course (the quality of work here) influences the finish. After having painted with lacquer, we attach Matuba before drying, and design makes, but when lacquered dehydration is too fast then, lacquer does not gather well, and it does not become likely. Therefore this work is possible when temperature and humidity from December through March are low." Humidity is necessary, but it is said that dehydration becomes too much fast in the rainy season so that lacquer dries.
    After having performed design charge account, we repeat coating and work of clouded gold lacquer earnestly. "Stupid coating of Wakasa is said. Meaning that we polish when we paint so as to be out of order." It is said that it takes about one year though one article is completed.

    As for the tool which we continue using from the first generation more than 100 years

    One craftsman performs all until groundwork bear position

    Another characteristic of Wakasa Nuri is to perform all processes one craftsman from the groundwork of bare wood to final coating.
    "We stock only bare wood and do all it afterwards. It is not divided the work. House is so, but craftsman holds shop right next to workshop and sells thing which we made by oneself by oneself." Therefore it is said that we take responsibility for own article which we made thoroughly.
    "All trips of Wakasa Nuri become 66. Because it often results in not becoming if we do not learn very, we suffer for five years until article becomes able to make first of all. We suffer for maa ten years to be able to actually make thing which visitor buys, and to become able to do as work."

    Individual design different every shop

    Because one does all, individuality of each craftsman strongly appears to product. "Designs are different little by little every shop. We wake up, and design (design that we acquired in Matuba and rapeseed) is thin and is coarse and. There is traditional design to come to each shop. Therefore it turns out that it is, "Furukawa works as for aa, this" if person seeing sees. For example, this plum is design peculiar to Furukawa, too." Preference is divided into visitor by the design. Therefore, in Wakasa Nuri shop which there are some, it is said that "regular customer of shop of Furukawa" is born.

    Picture of eggplant uses powder of color lacquer called dry lacquer powder (kanshitsufun)

    Work of invisible place produces value

    Laquer Ware becomes expensive in work process by all means. Even so, there is not meaning in what do not use thing which we bought with much effort because it is a waste. "We want you to choose thing which is expensive simply because it is thing to use every day. Because we are doing work of the groundwork properly, place not to see japan is worthwhile. Thing with value is not broken, and good luster appears so as to use. You should repair if broken in it. If it is our thing, we repair with responsibility thoroughly."
    Furukawa to be glad that we have you make a request from visitor in various ways. We began this work with the breeding, pure feeling to manufacturing on seeing work of parent since childhood. The passion does not have state to die down still more.

    Kosaku Furukawa to want to continue making good thing

    Craftsman profile

    Kosaku Furukawa (we tear Furukawa in this way)

    It is Master of Traditional Crafts in the Furukawa Wakasa Nuri shop third generation. Craftsman career from 27 years old of 33 years. We make good thing, and it is said that we want to leave.


    Let's carry lacquered chopsticks for exclusive use of oneself favorite

    Wakasa produces 80% or more of nation-wide lacquered chopsticks. As lacquered chopsticks are durable, we seem to have for five years even if we use every day. Of course beautiful design by technique of clouded gold lacquer peculiar to Wakasa Nuri enters. Do you not think that it is a shame that we use these traditional, beautiful chopsticks only at home? How about carrying by all means, and using one of favorite at the time of eating out. At first, you may be slightly ashamed, but should care about natural tool if you pursue feelings to meal. In cafe gaining popularity led by youth for these past several years, we seem to carry out service pouring drink into independent cup. Then, let alone chopsticks, is that the times when we carry and are felt naturally of bowl come for miso soup ...?

    • Lacquered chopsticks of Wakasa who is light, and is strong, and is beautiful



Industrial art object name Wakasa Nuri
Phonetic symbol We paint with youth
Classification of industrial art object Laquer Ware
Main product Vase, tea set, bottle and cup, chopstick case
Main production area Fukui / Obama-shi
The designation date February 6, 1978

Contact information

■local production associations

Wakasa Laquer Ware cooperative association
7-13, Itayamachi, Obama-shi, Fukui
The Furukawa Wakasa Nuri shop
TEL: 0770-52-2532
FAX: 0770-52-2532

■Associated exhibit space, facility


We make design using eggshell, Schrenck's limpet, pine needle, hinoki leaf, rapeseed, and Wakasa Nuri expresses state of the bottom of the sea. In addition, gold leaf shines like like star or jewel there. As it is handwork, there is no same article.

In Wakasa Nuri, special decorative motifs representing the depths of the ocean are created using egg shells, limpet shells, pine leaves, cypress leaves, rapeseed, etc. They are embellished with glittering gold leaf reminiscent of the light of stars or jewels. Since they are hand-made, no two are the same.

How to make

We are studded with Schrenck's limpet and eggshells and we paint with color lacquer of blue, yellow, red and wrap in stack, gold leaf and we paint the top with dozens of times of good lacquer and we polish and give and provide luster at stack, whetstone and special charcoal last and we put final coating for plain part and finish. Solid elegant high quality Laquer Ware is completed without changing into heat and moisture because we spend long time of one year and are produced.

After blue, yellow and red lacquer studded with limpet shells and egg shells is applied in layers, gold leaf is added and choice lacquer is layered on repeatedly; next comes polishing by whetstone and a special kind of charcoal to give the works a glossy finish; the process is then completed by applying a top coat to the plain parts. Since they are made over the course of a whole year, these exclusive lacquerwares possess a sturdy elegance which is unaffected by heat or humidity.

Voice from production center

We wash with tepid water after the use of Laquer Ware and take moisture with dry cloth. When it is hard to fall, we add some cloza oil to cloth and you should polish to draw Japanese yen and fall.