Wajima Lacquerware

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Explore the traditional art of lacquerware at Wajimaya Zenni

Lacquer is an art that requires patience. Sap is drawn from adult lacquer trees and then continuously stirred while drying in order to remove excess water. When thick enough, it is colored with natural pigments, before being applied in multiple layers to a wooden base. As each layer dries, it is polished before another layer is painted over it, creating a luster that seems bottomless.

Wajima, on the Noto Peninsula about a two-hour drive from historical Kanazawa City, has long been a center of lacquerware production. Of Wajima’s producers, the true master is Wajimaya Zenni. This firm, established in 1813, has always produced the very best lacquerware in Japan. So dedicated is this workshop of master artisans that the company planted its own forest of lacquer trees to better control quality. See its beautiful collection of historical and modern lacquerware at its workshop in person, meet the makers, and come away with your own work of beauty.

63 Heisei-machi, Wajima-shi, Ishikawa-ken