Traditional Crafts

Tsugaru LacquerwareAomori Prefecture

Tsugaru lacquerware is said to be the most stately of all Japanese lacquerwares. Numerous layers of differently tinted lacquer are applied, then polished or sanded away to reveal portions of the underlying layers, like a mille-feuille pastry. This process can involve the application of forty or fifty separate layers of lacquer and take more than two months to complete, but it produces patterns of great beauty and complexity and imparts a feeling of great strength and durability. This difficult and time-consuming labor displays the character of the people of snowy Tsugaru, known for their honesty and diligence.
Tsugaru lacquerware has won international acclaim ever since its first appearance at the Vienna World’s Fair in 1873.


Takayuki Kobayashi, Kobayashi Shikki


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