Fukushima [Lacquer Ware] AIZU Nuri (Lacquerware)

Categories
Art / Traditional crafts
Area
Tohoku Fukushima
Shops
Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square
Update date
2020-11-26

Aizu lacquerware was made possible by the planting of lacquer trees, an act promoted by a powerful local family during the Muromachi era (1392-1573). Then, when Gamo Ujisato arrived from what is now Shiga Prefecture to lead the Aizu clan during the Momoyama era (1573-1600), he brought with him skilled lacquerers. With the dissemination of their skills and the development of lacquer techniques, Aizu soon became a production center for all kinds of lacquerware.
Later, specialist maki-e artisans were brought in from Kyoto to aid the further development of the lacquerware operation, resulting in the Shogunate granting special permission to export Aizu-nuri in the middle of the Edo era (1600-1868). Production suffered at the start of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, but soon returned to normal before entering a golden age.

Aizu-nuri’s appeal lies in its use of various techniques as well as decorations featuring auspicious motifs favored by the Japanese. Several techniques are of particular note. Tetsusabi-nuri consists of tasteful motifs drawn in a rusty brown. Kinmushikui-nuri involves sprinkling rice husks over the wet surface of a piece to create a pattern. Kijiro-nuri allows the beauty of the woodgrain to shine through. Each technique is expertly used to produce bowls, traditional stacking boxes, coasters and trays.

AIZU Nuri (Lacquerware) (details page)

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