Products coated with urushi lacquer. Urushi lacquer is natural coating material made from tree sap of urushi tree. The oldest examples in Japan are supposed to be made during Jomon Era (ca.13000 B.C. – ca.300 B.C. )

Urushi lacquer forms very strong coat once it is ‘dried’. Precisely speaking, it is ‘hardening’by the action of an enzyme, and adequate temperature and high humidity is required in this ‘drying’ process. Besides its decorative effect, urushi lacquer coat makes the material resistant to water, oil, salt, acid and shock, so it has had a wide range  of application throughout history. For example, the interior and ritual instruments for temples and shrines, furniture for the residence of aristocrats, armor and sword of Samurai, and daily utensils like bowls and chopsticks and accessories.

Including many layers of coating and polishing, the process consists of 30 to 40 steps and it requires a long time and skills of artisans.

Urushi lacquer coated crafts has been produced in various areas throughout Japan. Each one has its own tradition and characteristics and tries also to seek new applications along with the changes in technology and life style.