Lacquer is the extracted black sap from a lacquer tree. We gather sap by scratching a tree and refining it to make lacquer for artwork.

lacquer art 芯漆 漆の木 輪島

Lacquer is a natural material, and it can be used as paint or adhesive which will not cause any pollution, thus rendering it friendly to the global environment.

Japanese lacquer has abundant urushiol as its chief ingredient. It helps to make a bigger refractive rate, which provides depth in color and hardness to protect against scratching, allowing for superior durability.

Lacquer has been used as paint for wooden bowls. It is so-called “lacquerware.” Representing lacquerware known as “Japanese traditional artworks” are “Wajima Nuri” in Ishikawa, “Kyo Shikki” in Kyoto, and “Aizu Nuri” in Fukushima.

Lacquerware has attracted people with their luster, polarized nature, and durability as their major characteristics.

Shinshitsu lacquer art from Wajima Japan
Shinshitsu lacquer art from Wajima Japan

The origin of the Japanese word for lacquer “Urushi” comes from “being moistened ‘uruou’” and “beautiful ‘uruwashii’” to express its luster and painted surface. Thus, lacquer has been valued for a long time throughout the history of Japan and has maintained its name “Urushi.”

Lacquer had been used as an adhesive. It was used to reinforce arrowheads in ancient times, and now it is used to restore broken ceramics together with gold.

However, traditional lacquerware has some “limitations,” as it is aged and deteriorated by dryness and different climates.

In order to prolong the life of conventional lacquerware to millions of years, we have introduced a new technique “Shin Shitsu.”

Shinshitsu lacquer art from Wajima Japan
Shinshitsu lacquer art from Wajima Japan

“Shin Shitsu” artwork is completed by using lacquer sap from Japan. From “core” to “surface,” the artwork is made without using any wooden materials for its base.