A site introducing wonderful Japanese crafts has opened. First of all, I would like to introduce Yamanaka lacquerware, the traditional art of Ishikawa prefecture where I live.
HISTORY & FEATURES of Yamanaka lacquerware
The origin of Yamanaka lacquerware can be traced to the late 16th century. A woodturner who moved to Manago Village (present-day Yamanaka-onsen) brought woodturning techniques to the area. Some Manago villagers moved to Yamanaka to make their living by selling wooden products to hot-spring visitors. At first, these products were made of white wood with no lacquer. In the mid 18th century, famous master craftsmen were invited from all over Japan to introduce various techniques including sensujibiki (thousand-line engraving), shudamenuri (vermillion lacquer coated with transparent lacquer), and komanuri (concentriccircles in different colors). With this shift from making mere souvenirs to creating artistic pieces, Yamanaka lacquerware became an authentic local industry. Woodturning skill is the most distinctive feature of Yamanaka lacquerware. Fuki-urushi, a lacquering technique that highlights the beauty of the wood grain, is also a feature of Yamanaka lacquerware.