This website was established for introducing a Japanese heritage, Echizen Urushi, has been developed in Fukui Prefecture.

Taizo Yamamoto
Taizo Yamamoto from
Yamakyu Japanware Co., LTd.

The Urusih lacquerware industry can be divided into 2 areas; the creation of base form lacquerware, and applying design onto base forms. Before the 1970’s in Japan, people eat more often at home and had special occasions to use Japanese wooden lacquerware. Today as people tend to eat out more often and many of the traditional Buddhist services are held outside, the everyday use of lacquerware has diminished and now is recognized as becoming a traditional Japanese art form. As a Japanese custom, wooden lacquerware was use as serving ware to visitors as hospitality. Plastic lacquerware however was usually supplied for business and everyday use.

Our website focuses on recognition and acknowledgement of traditional handcrafted lacquerware and artistic approach, but also highlights the necessity and practicality of more modern lacquerware for everyday use.

Ultimately, we have been putting our efforts on the following projects and businesses:

  1. Search for beautiful silhouette lacquerware designed and created for a modern life style.
  2. Many years ago, Japanese considered that shiro urush (white urushi lacquerware), was less beautiful than black or red lacquerware, but now we can appreciate and incorporate the beauty of shiro urushi in modern design and art.
  3. The creation of new products by making a new texture on lacquerware, called Togikasuri that was invented by us. It is also applied on plastic bases to provide cheaper products to customers for heavy use.
  4. Collaboration with other industries, such as accessories and cosmetics, that urushi lacquer can gives extra value to.
  5. We are also finding new applications that can utilize the makie and chinkin lacquerware decoration technique.

Urushi has been used on wooden material because it is a useful natural lacquer that has the characteristics of being moisture-proof and rotproof. It is also known for being the strongest glue that nature can create. Japanese use it to make tools and repair items. Urushi lacquer played an important role in the Japanese life style. Urushi lacquerware also appeals to people with its beautiful colors. Over time as the lacquar hardens and with the exposure to the environment, the black gets darker while the red gets brighter. Furthermore, urushi has antibacterial effects so that it is suitable for food storage. This is the one of reasons why Japanese used urushi jubako, a box to keep Osechi, which is a Japanese traditional food eaten on New Year’s days.

We provide lacquerware that made by urushi shokunin. You can order custom made or simply create your original lacquerware by painting your name or logo. The great thing is that damages on lacquerware can be repaired and possible to use permanently. We have own studio that you can rely on if your lacquerware is broken.

In earlier times Japanese found and processed the sap of the urushi trees, which each tree can only produce about 200cc per every 15 years. Lacquerware has developed along with the people in Japan and has become a fixture in Japanese culture and society.

If you are interested what we do, please feel free to contact us at info@echizen-urushi.com.