Lacquer is a natural material obtained from the sap of the lacquer tree. It is used about 9000 years ago! Dishes, chopsticks, boxes are lacquered again and again. There are about 40 process to complete but this make them beautiful and strong.
What do you imagine about "lacquerware"? strong? Keep long? Or Soft and smooth?
Yes, they are right and the color will not fade easily and keep shining usually because most lacquerware items are painted many times. Also most lacquerware is added the paint, then the craftsman recoat the items.
However 春慶塗 read as "Syunkei-Nuri" items are painted ONLY ONE TIME and all are handmade one by one. That is a big difference. Also the pain is not added to lacquerware. Why is it?
Natural Grain of Wood × Lacquerware = "Synkei-Nuri"
The writer visited "Yamada Syunkei Shop" in Takayama city, Gifu Prefecture. I met the craftsman Mr. Yamada and heard the reason.
Syunkei Style do not want to erase the natural grain of wood by painting. They select the excellent woods because the paint only one time so we can clearly see the grain. We call this paint style 透塗 read as "Suke-Nuri". "Suke" means ”Seen through" and "Nuri" means "Painting" so Suke-Nuri mean "the grain of wood can be seen through the paint".
How about the other lacquerware items? They are painted a lot so we can not see inside, that mean if they use even paper not wood, we can not realize it!
Hida Syunkei is about 400 years old.
Now Mr. Yamada try new things.
One is the color. As I wrote, they do not add the paint in lacquerware so they paint the color on the item(see the middle 4 woods as below), then they paint the lacquerware only one time(see the right 4 woods as below). Now they have 4 kinds of color, red, yellow, blue and green.
Only here, you can get the lacquerware item of green and blue.
Another is items. Many years ago, they make a lunch box, tray and flower vase but nowadays, they try to make a pen, clock, photo frame and earrings. These are good for souvenirs!
The writer found the interesting things, ornaments made from the wheel's teeth!
These are made by many years ago. You can get one by one but also "seven deities of good luck" are good set.
The natural grain and Synkei Nuri can make the gorgeous items. These make your daily life enrich!
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