Traditional Crafts

Kawatsura LacquerwareAkita Prefecture

Kawatsura lacquerware originated around the year 1200 and is characterized by meticulous underpainting and a beautiful finishing coat known as hananuri (lit., “flower painting”).
The craft is said to have begun with warriors applying lacquer to their armor and arms. The lacquerware was made even more sumptuous as the warriors—both as an expression of their power and as a cultural amusement— began to apply chinkin gold- or platinum-inlay carving and the decorative technique known as maki-e, employing gold or silver particles embedded in the lacquer.
This spirit and tradition of artistic amusement, and the techniques which supported it, have been passed down to the present day, inspiring new works in a variety of colors and forms.
Kawatsura lacquerware has a proud tradition of technical excellence and artistic quality, but it has always held an ideal of usefulness in everyday life, and this commitment to a fusion of art and utility continues in the work of contemporary craftspeople.


Ken Tsutsujimori, Maruni Kogei
Ko Sato, Li-Zan

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