Kishu ShikkiKishu Lacquer Ware

Group of woodworkers of the neighborhood of current Shiga settled down in this ground for the age of civil strife from the Muromachi era and began production of bowl of tree to bare wood with rich Kishu hinoki.
It led to production of astringent juice place bowl which gave bare wood of bowl astringent juice base. It was the Edo era, and japanner became popular still more, too, and the name came to be known as big production center of astringent juice place bowl in the whole country. Kishu Shikki is called "Kuroe (kuroe) coat" first and spreads out as Kishu Shikki after amount of production increased afterwards and continues up to the present day.

Wood turners settled in the vicinity of present day Shiga Prefecture during the Muromachi period (1392-1573) and the turbulent times before the end of the 16th century. These craftsmen started making wooden soup bowls using the plentiful supplies of Japanese cypresses (Chamaecyparis Spach) found locally. This led to the production of shibujiwan bowls, which were primed with the tannin-rich juice extracted from persimmons.
During the Edo period (1600-1868), lacquer ware became much more popular and it became known throughout the country as the greatest producer of shibujiwan bowls. Kishu Shikki was first called kuroe-nuri but with the increase in production, it was circulated as Kishu Shikki by which name it is known today.

This lacquer ware can be used on a daily basis and is identifiable by its simplicity and solidness. The most representative forms are kuroe-nuri and negoro-nuri . Various pieces of tableware, tray, bowls for candies as well as stationary boxes are being produced to traditional designs.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Bare wood structure is thing by any of the following.

    When encounter bending, thing by "hot water bending" or "saw bending."

    When it is in armor-back held-flag, we grind "ryufu ke".

    When it is in turnery, you use potter's wheel stand and birokurogannao, and mold.

    Groundwork structure is thing by any of the following.

    After having applied thing which "helps put on cloth", and mixed oshi, unrefined varnish and charcoal powder when it is in the astringent juice groundwork, do "ground charcoal grind".

    After having applied thing which "helps put on cloth", and mixed oshi, unrefined varnish and base powder when it is in the lacquer groundwork, do "ground grind".

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

    When do decoration, thing by lacquer work, lacquer inlaid with gold, "Schrenck's limpet work" or "Aya lacquer block."

    Raw materials

    Assume lacquer natural lacquer.

    Assume bare wood material having materials which are equal to hinoki, tochi, kusu, zelkova, sen or these.

  • Work scenery

    Process 1: saiurushi, lacquer to produce

    Lacquer used for Laquer Ware adopted sap "lacquer liquid" which was secretion of lacquered tree. We damage lacquered tree, and "saiurushi" means work to collect lacquer liquid oozing out. We say that we process saiurushi done raw lacquer and are refined with "lacquer to produce". Except raw lacquered moisture, we add to transparency and do lacquer to produce so that luster appears.

    Process 2: The making of bare wood

    We process wood and make bare wood. Bare wood has three kinds of things called "Chinese brocade" "bending" "turnery" (go down thing). At first "turnery" is generic name of circular product which devised wood with potter's wheel or lathe. We make bowl, tray. "Bending" is product which touched baseplate and deck to thing which bends wood which we steam and softened using shoe trees, and connected both ends next. It is bamboo steamer or tea caddy. Finally "Chinese brocade" is product which processed wood which we made a plate of. At first we perform timber conversion of each part of container and connect the parts next and we sharpen the whole built more and finish.

    Process 3: The groundwork

    Process to apply lacquer is greatly distributed between two, and one is "the groundwork". There is purpose to bury strengthening Laquer Ware to withstand "the groundwork" and coarse place and wound of cortex, and to smooth off the surface. "Base" has kinds such as the "lacquer groundwork" "astringent juice groundwork" "glia groundwork" (koushitaji) and can use properly by purpose. At first "the lacquer groundwork" is used for high-quality Laquer Ware. "The astringent juice groundwork" is used for strong, inexpensive practical use Laquer Ware. We prevent lacquered absorption to tree and make final coating better. This "astringent juice groundwork" is used for astringent juice place bowl which can be called special product of Kishu Shikki. And appearance of the appearance is good, and "glia base" is used a lot at low price by process being easy. This "glia groundwork" mixed groundwork powder in solution of glia (glue), and there are various names by kind of groundwork powder.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 4: Kamiji coating

    "Final coating" means process to paint on the groundwork that groundwork process ended in generally. "Final coating" is carried out for "undercoating" "coating" "final coating" and three phases. After having finished painting, in environmental drying room which is high humidity called lacquer bath, we avoid adhesion of garbage and dry both of "undercoating" "coating". And when drying is over, we flatten tomen, and grind work to make next lacquer and coherence to paint with better is performed. We paint with lacquer by "final coating" slightly into thick pieces. As lacquer flows and does not sometimes become toward the bottom, we upset top and bottom every given period of time and dry afterwards.

    Process 5: Decoration

    For "decoration to add patterns to Laquer Ware which lacquer has finished applying," there is various technique such as lacquer work (we can wind up), mother-of-pearl (and others do not appear), lacquer inlaid with gold (chinkin). "Lacquer work" soaks writing brush of the slim tip called lacquer work writing brush with lacquer liquid and describes painting and sows powder which dried money, silver, tin and color lacquer before lacquer dries and is technique to express design. We put Akkai (around 1mm) on clipping, basis material, and "mother-of-pearl" soaks rust and we carve and fit Akkai in type of shellfish to method to be used to polish in whetstone smoothly and screen which paints, and went up, and there are two kinds of method to polish in whetstone until it becomes flat, and to fix. What put thin shellfish, and sow saifun of shellfish says Schrenck's limpet work (or somata). Mother-of-pearl causes thing using technique of Akkai mentioned above. We carve line, and "lacquer inlaid with gold" does design with tool to tell to be only lacquer inlaid with gold and prints unrefined varnish and is technique to attach with gold leaf on the lacquer. By relatively solid decoration, we are used for general daily necessity widely. Kishu Shikki is completed after various processes in this way.

    Video is played when we click image


  • Close-up

    The Japanese ultimate beauty, lacquer work

    China points at porcelain in Europe. Then, speaking of Japan, it is Laquer Ware. Thing which lacquer work in particular was put for plays key role. Technique of lacquer work that accomplished development peculiar to Japan is full of Japanese-style atmosphere and has various expression methods. We heard story from eminent scholar about abyss of lacquer work.


    What is lacquer work?

    The end of the process of manufacture of Laquer Ware is decoration, but one technique of the inside is lacquer work. It is lacquer work that we are used to sow powder such as money, silver before picture which we drew with lacquer dries, and decorate. Why does lacquer work attract person to around this? Eminent scholar, dekuchiyuzuriji (exit Joji) talks about back depth saying "it is during da study now even if lacquer work does it for 50 years". It is easy to be influenced by weather and dry condition. It is said that it is the most difficult to produce in spring in season.

    Work of Deguchi

    We investigate charm of lacquer work from technique

    The charm actually understands well that we see technique of lacquer work. There is three representative technique, but it is divided what you would do to size of powder which is used to sow, height of how to put up coat sides of lacquer, clouded gold lacquer of tomen. At first "flat lacquering." This draws Fumi on tomen with lacquer and is technique that is going to express gold dust, silver dust on the screen which paints, and rose effectively. Next "takamakie." We heap up part of Fumi into a relief form using lacquer and the groundwork and we describe Fumi and sow silver dust to the top and harden and polish and finish. As for the heaping up method of "takamakie", three of next are representative. We put up lacquer (called high one) and put up charcoal powder, and there is by ton rust. The third technique "clouded gold lacquer." It is technique to begin to polish in charcoal, and to express pattern after we draw Fumi in tomen with lacquer and it sows coarse silver dust to the top and be accompanied and we paint with lacquer until the powder is buried and repeat. It is simple technique neither, but this "clouded gold lacquer" paints in particular with lacquer over and over again, and we begin to polish gold dust in charcoal, but the addition and subtraction are difficult. When ask about how long begin to polish until; "cross section of gold dust sharpens to part becoming maximum. This is because brightness increases the part most. It was explained to Deguchi, brightness of money blunts even if deeper than it even if more shallow than it. It had you show real "clouded gold lacquer" and both of "flat lacquering", but seemingly "flat lacquering" seems to shine, but it is "clouded gold lacquer" that it is well refined when we see, and depth is deep. We give beauty settled down with moisture. Lacquer work expresses Japanese feelings, and it turns out that it is thing full of charm.

    Feeling of strain is handed down from earnest figure

    We make use of old tradition in now

    Deguchi who always drives "of course it is important, but what do you do for that we follow tradition to make use of it in now?" into production in mind. We work on production such as sum, horn of water buffalo or accessories, broach using ivory positively. We can continue new challenge saying "we do not get snagged so far as each use of the things is replaced with the times and want to come.". There are many customers from foreign country whether it is from such a posture whether this is because the name says "yuzuriji" (George). There seems to be person asking Deguchi directly. Of course Deguchi is welcome. We were actually instructed with demonstration of lacquer work as guest of history way promotion meeting in Detroit and Los Angeles of the United States in 1998. In addition, about successor upbringing, we instruct student of 7-8 twice a week. We want to expect for future more and more achievement.

    • We sow gold dust in *to

    • New work

    • Really calm exit eminent scholar

    Craftsman profile

    dekuchiyuzuriji (ideguchijoji)

    Count from first Sanshiro Hiyamizu (do not soak) of last years of 48 years, Edo era in dekuchiyuzuriji, lacquer work career; and the fifth generation. Wakayama eminent scholar. Master of Traditional Crafts Warm personality wrapping up thing of the circumference is particularly impressive.


    We walk cityscape of Kuroe

    Oldness and Kuroe of Kishu Shikki. It is town which is sung in Manyoshu tanka collection. The one which was called black cattle liman (ko of black cattle) in old days because there was black rock beef-shaped in tideland when this neighborhood was beautiful inlet of name of Kuroe is said that derived. Cityscape same as old days still remains there. We get off at station of JR kinokuni line "Kuroe" and it should be said that we walk Kumano Highway with high street of town of Kuroe in around 15 minutes and arrives at "Kawabata street". There is "searching the old Denshokan Museum" which just becomes mark on the left corner. By liquor brewing loved from the Edo era by Laquer Ware craftsman, it is now here in museum where method of sake brewing of the Edo era and record of tool and business are displayed. House of old Laquer Ware craftsmen and the workplace and wholesale dealers line up regularly around Kawabata Street. It prospered very much as allotment where 1,300 Yodo, 4,500 people lived in in last years of Edo era, and historic cityscape which remained in now was completed. However, it is strange what cityscape is. We do not line straight up. Houses bring themselves to look here.
    Houses form a line like "sawtooth" regularly facing the street when we see well. Why would it happen? According to gen of late Norimitsu Saiga who was native district historiographer in painters "it has been on land of parallelogram without cause here being the sea, and having been able to slant beach for peninsula called Ikezaki, and it being possible for way along the beach while there were theories of place in geoshita in load a lot, and landfill being done by opinion, river to be convenient to put box cart opinion called aspect of a house, and it being in right angle it and central drainage (the present Kawabata street). Therefore we are, there would be three angles of vacant lands on table and the back when we build square house. It is very tasteful made when we pay more attention to old house. As for the appearance, the upper part is white wall coating, and retainer is boarded place of Kishu bringing a child by a former marriage lattice and the making of of Kyoto-style. We feel calm with traditional farmhouse-style layout when we enter inside. There is "breaking in Shinto shrine" (with basket) which presents straight soil God of Kuroe-mura to end when we enter some bystreets and it is one of 100 selections of Kishu famous clear water here and is known because "water of black cattle" springs out. When we came back to Kawabata Street and walked to loser, there was guardian deity of seafarers size honorific title of a Japanese god. As this was guardian angel of marine transportation, here was filled up in old days; may be proved. We bring ourselves that thyme skids and comes back several hundred years ago in this way when we walk cityscape of Kuroe. Way of grandmother taught way a while ago of speaking was slow. We feel that it is not necessary to work busily when here.

    • Cityscape of Kuroe

    • Searching the old Denshokan Museum




Industrial art object name Kishu Shikki
Phonetic symbol kisyushikki
Classification of industrial art object Laquer Ware
Main product Trays, cake bowl devices, tableware
Main production area Wakayama / Wakayama-shi, Kainan-shi, Kimino-cho, Kaiso-gun
The designation date February 6, 1978

Contact information

■local production associations

Kishu Shikki cooperative association
222, Funoo, Kainan-shi, Wakayama
Kishu Shikki Kyoto Museum of Traditional Industry
TEL: 073-482-0322
FAX: 073-483-2341

■Associated exhibit space, facility


Laquer Ware which is usable in everyday life casually is the main constituent, and there is simple, solidly built impression generally. Kuroe-style lacquerwork, Negoro (moderate price) coat are one of the representative coating.

These lacquerwares consist mainly of pots that can be used for daily living and transmit an overall impression of firmness and simplicity. Kuroe-nuri and Negoro-nuri are the typical coating laquers used.

How to make

When we put process of bare wood, process of coating, processes of decoration together and it is and includes the drying days in 50-70 process when there are various kinds and sees simple round tray for example, we suffer from Laquer Ware for approximately three months before it is completed. In addition, when we make traditional Laquer Ware, with bare wood craftsman, groundwork craftsman, japanner, lacquer work craftsman, we are divided into specialized work each and suffer from mastery of skills for around ten years.

Though there are various types of lacquerware, a simple round tray, if we consider the wooden base creation process, the coating process and the decoration process, typically requires about 50 to 70 stages and, including the drying period, about 3 months to complete. When making traditional lacquerware, the work is subdivided among different craftsmen like wooden base craftsmen, undercoating craftsmen, lacquer craftsmen and gold leaf craftsmen who require about 10 years to become proficient in their respective fields.

Voice from production center

Moisture and luster. Oh, depth of Japanese taste not to be able to say either. There is ease to calm down of heart only by there being one article. It serves as check about preservation, and it is the first we sometimes provide, and to use. In addition, please save after wiping off with tender cloth after the use well.