Niigata [Lacquer Ware] MURAKAMI Kibori Tsuishu (Wood Carvings and Lacquerware)

Art / Traditional crafts
Hokuriku-Shinetsu Nigata
Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square
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The Murakami area of Niigata Prefecture has been known for its natural lacquer since the Heian era (794-1185). Dating back to the early 15th century, Murakami lacquered wood carvings have made use of this local sap.
Lacquerers in Kyoto learned to imitate the multi-layered carved lacquerware from China, achieving the same effect by carving a wooden core and coating it with natural lacquer. The technique was adopted in Murakami when a temple was built in the area. A carpenter involved in the construction of the temple mastered the techniques and passed them on. During the Edo era (1600-1868), this distinctive craft was taken up first by lower-ranking samurai, and then by local villagers.

The fine detailed carvings are enhanced by the application of lacquer using six distinct techniques, and the most characteristic uses a matte vermilion lacquer for a dignified, composed feel.

MURAKAMI Kibori Tsuishu (Wood Carvings and Lacquerware) (details page)

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