Wajima Lacquerware: 
Enduring Beauty and Timeless Richness

Wajima lacquerware, one of Japan's most esteemed lacquerware, finds its home in Wajima City, nestled in the northwest corner of the Noto Peninsula. This illustrious craft, flourishing since the Edo period (1603 CE - 1867 CE), is distinguished by its rich foundation and decorative embellishments that promise both aesthetic and functional excellence. 

With an astounding number of steps in its production process, its sumptuous lacquer coat and exquisite decorations draw one into the mesmerizing world of Wajima artistry. Honored as an Important Intangible Cultural Property in 1975, Wajima lacquerware gracefully continues its evolution while maintaining the rich tapestry of its ancient traditions.

The History of Wajima Lacquerware 

The history of Wajima lacquerware stretches deep into the past, with its earliest known artifact being a Japanese-style lacquerware door from 1524. This piece, preserved at Juzo Shrine in the heart of Wajima City, stands as the oldest example of Wajima lacquerware. Yet, its origin remains shrouded in mystery, surrounded by various theories.

The masterful style of Wajima lacquerware, as revered today, has its origins in the early Edo period. Jinoko, a unique diatomaceous earth from Wajima's mountainous regions, was adeptly integrated into the base coat, giving the lacquerware its distinctive thickness and durability. This pivotal discovery coincided with the Kaga Domain's era of artistic patronage, enhancing Wajima lacquerware's prominence. The domain's commitment to cultural development nurtured various crafts, turning Wajima lacquerware into a symbol of sophistication and prestige.

As the Edo period advanced, the artistry of Wajima lacquerware was further refined with the introduction of the chinkin technique and maki-e technique. Both decorative methods bestowed upon Wajima lacquerware an additional layer of beauty, enhancing its luxurious and esteemed characteristics.

Popular Maker

Taya Shikki 

Taya Shikkiten, a revered name in the world of Wajima lacquerware, boasts a 200-year history of exquisite artisanship and timeless quality. Situated in Wajima City, near the Sea of Japan in Ishikawa Prefecture, this esteemed establishment has been nurtured through generations, evolving into a hallmark of traditional Wajima lacquerware artistry. Taya Shikkiten skillfully employs natural wood, natural lacquer, and jinoko, a locally sourced baked diatomaceous earth, to meticulously handcraft creations of extraordinary beauty and reliable functionality. Whether breathing new life into cultural heirlooms or shaping exquisite tableware, the company stands as a steadfast guardian of refined elegance and exceptional quality, showcasing the pinnacle of Wajima lacquerware's craftsmanship.

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