Aizu is located in the southern part of the Tohoku region and is known as a place where nature and history are richly preserved and a unique culture takes root. The Aizu region is a basin surrounded by rich nature and has become a famous lacquerware production area where the entire process from the production of materials, such as cultivating lacquer trees, collecting sap, and cutting nearby trees, to the processing and finishing of lacquerware can be done locally. Aizu lacquerware has continued to grow up to the present day, as it has always proactively adopted the latest technology in addition to the traditional techniques that have survived for over 400 years.
The graceful design of Aizu lacquerware
Aizu lacquerware is characterized by its auspicious designs and the beauty of various decorations. The grooves on the surface of the lacquerware are carved more finely and shallowly than in lacquerware from other regions, the decorations give a softer look. "Keshi-fun-makie" is a technique representative of Aizu lacquerware, in which the work is painted with a brush full of lacquer and then sprinkled with the finest gold powder using cotton buds while checking the drying process.The motifs of pine, bamboo, plum, ceremonial arrow, and spinning wheel, which are often used in Aizu lacquerware, have the following meanings.
Pine is an evergreen tree that does not wither even in winter and retains its dignified appearance, which has the meaning of "longevity and prolongation of life".
Bamboo is a symbol of "vitality and growth", as it is difficult to break and grows quickly.
Plum trees are prized for their beautiful, noble-scent flowers that bloom in early spring before other flowers, even when they are old enough to grow moss.
It is used to ward off the evil that causes misfortune, and to wish for a happy life.
The long stretch of thread from the spinning wheel has the meaning of wishing for long life.