The Wakasa-nuri lacquer technique was started in the early Edo period 400 years ago by a lacquer artist from the Ohama feudal clan. He was influenced by lacquer making techniques from China and began making designs that interpreted the ocean floor. Years of refinement over generations have given rise to the unique technique we see today. Tadakatsu Sakai, the feudal lord of the Ohama clan, named it “Wakasa-nuri”, and he nurtured and promoted the art. The technique was so unique that Lord Sakai not only made it the family’s treasure but he banned it from being emulated by other clans. Unlike other lacquer art such as Raden, Makie, and Chinkin, pine needles and cypress leaf are laid on the base and embedded materials such as eggshell and seashell in the lacquer and then sanded down and polished to reveal deep layers of intricately speckled color and pattern. One of the best known designs is “Kikusui-oboshi”. The Wakasa-nuri requires many hours of subtle crafting by artisans and can take up to a year to complete a piece. As well as being extraordinarily beautiful to behold, the lacquer technique gives the finished pieces a high durability against moisture and heat. They are valued for their practical use well as objects of art.
- 1-9 ichibancho obama-shi Fukui ,Japan
- Wakasa lacquer ware cooperative society