At Urushi no Sato Kaikan, you can look around the manufacturing process of lacquerware from wooden basis make to decoration and the historical materials. In addition to an exhibiting sale for more than 1,000 lacquerware items at the museum shop, you can also experience drawing, gold-inlaid lacquerware and wipe-lacquering at a lacquerware workshop that is needed to be booked in advance. In a craftwork studio in a separate building, one craftperson on weekdays and two craftworkers on weekends and public holidays perform demonstrations of wooden basis production, drawing and decoration of the lacquerware. There is also a restaurant that you can enjoy lunch served in a lacquer dish, and a Japanese style room with a lacunar ceiling embedded with hand-made gold-relief panels made by local craftsmen.
About Echizen Lacquerware Echizen lacqueware holds a share of over 80% of the dishes for business use such as hotels and restaurants. The history of Echizen lacqueware goes back to the end of the Tumulus Period, approximately 1,500 years ago. The 26th generation Emperor Keitai, who was then the Imperial Prince, ordered repair work on his broken crown to be carried out by a lacquering master in the village of Katayama, where is modern-day Sabae Katamaya-cho (town). Subsequently, the lacquering master also presented a black lacquered bowl to the emperor. Impressed with its shape and quality, Emperor Keitai is said to have encouraged the village to produce lacqueware. In Echizen there are many lacquer tapping workers, who make a scratch on lacquer trees, to collect the lacquer liquid from a long time ago, and half of the domestic lacquer tapping was carried out in Echizen at the peak time. At the time of the construction of Nikko Toshogu, the Tokugawa Shogunate is said to have ordered Echizen to collect quite a lot of the lacquer liquid. Considering this fact, you can see the lacquer tapping workers in Echizen were higly evaluated. The existence of such lacquer tapping workers also plays a major role in the formation of the Echizen lacquerware. The late Edo period, Echizen absorbed the techniques of gold lacquer from Kyoto and gold-inlaid lacquerware from Wajim. Thus, the Echizen lacquerware became decorative in addition to its robustness.
Nishi Bukuro-cho 37-6-1 Sabae-shi, Fukui
From JR Sabae Station, get on the Kawada line of the community bus “Tsutsuji Bus”, and then get off at the Urushi no Sato bus stop.
The bus timetable is here.
9:00 – 17:00
Closed on the 4th Tuesday of every month, unless it falls on a national holiday (if the closed day is on a national holiday, the facility is open on Tuesday and close the following day).
Online product gallery is here.