JAPAN TRADITIONAL CRAFT AOYAMA SQUARE
Western Honshu, Shikoku > Western Honshu Others
During the Muromachi era (1392-1573), Ouchi, who was a prominent figure in what is now Yamaguchi Prefecture, promoted trade with Korea and Ming-dynasty China. As part of his efforts, he encouraged the local production of lacquerware for export. The skills that were developed as a result persisted long after the trade had ended and are still with us today.
Yamaguchi, which is situated on the western end of Honshu, was often referred to as the “Kyoto of the West,” perhaps because of its air of refinement. Retaining something of that air, Ouchi lacquerware is first undercoated with a dull vermilion, after which motifs of autumn grasses are applied in a yellowish green lacquer. Next, cloud forms are added, followed by the Ouchi family crest in gold leaf. The mainstays of modern production include large trays, plates, coasters and figures.