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About Suzuki Shikkiten

Since our founding in the year 1964, we have dedicated ourselves daily to our craft in the hopes of protecting and expanding traditional craftsmanship.
The carving and lacquer painting processes, which were originally divided, have been united into a single process.
Our careful techniques and thorough discussion with customers may take time, but it allows us to create warm and easy-to-use lacquerware products.
The Murakami carved vermillion lacquerware becomes more lustrous the more it’s used, and makes a perfect gift for weddings, retirement parties, and birthdays for the elderly, housewarming parties, and many other special occasions.

Artifact Information

Artifact NameMurakami Engraved Tsuishu
History The lacquerware techniques of the Murakami region of Niigata Prefecture are believed to have originated 600 years ago, with a lacquerware artisan who came to Niigata from Kyoto to build a temple.
Then, about 200 years ago, the retainers of the Murakami Domain learned lacquerware carving skills as a hobby during their enforced service to the shogun in Edo.
These techniques then spread throughout Murakami to become the foundation of Murakami Tsuishu. Various improvements were then made, such as incorporation of Chinese-style designs and modification of Kamakura engraving techniques, all of which contribute to the modern-day form of Murakami Tsuishu.
All works are created by hand, with delicate engravings done on natural wood grain, then painted hundreds of times with high-quality natural lacquers.
This commitment to quality has led to Murakami Tsuishu being declared a Niigata Prefecture intangible cultural property, as well as a Japanese traditional craft.

The Traditional Craftsman Profile

Craftsman Name
Craftsman Tadashi SuzukiTadashi Suzuki ; Top-class lacquerware artisan (*) Masashi
Founded Suzuki Lacquerware Store
Niigata Prefectural Government Award
Won Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Award
Won Order of the Sacred Treasures, Silver Rays Award / As well as many other awards

Craftsman Name
Craftsman Shinya SuzukiShinya Suzuki ; Murakami engraved tsuishu traditional artisan (decoration specialist)

Primarily handles new goods, made-to-order goods production and sale

Manufacturing Method

1. Wood cutting
Wood cutting Dried lumber is cut and hollowed to form the basic shape
2. Sketching
Flowers, birds, landscapes, etc are sketched onto the wood grain
3. Engraving
Engraving The wood is carved according to the sketch using a chisel called an urajiro
4. Sanding
The carved design is polished with sandpaper
5. Lacquering
Lacquer is painted on the entire surface with a brush
6. Applying sabi
The wood is painted with sabi, a mixture of polishing powder and lacquer
7. Polishing sabi
A polishing stone is used to buff the surface
8. Mid-coat
Lacquer is painted on without concealing the pattern
9. Mid-coat polishing
The surface is buffed with a polishing stone
10. Topcoat
Topcoat Paint with vermillion lacquer
11. Frosting
The surface is frosted by removing surface gloss
12. Hairlining
A fine chisel is used to carve fine lines
13. Top stenciling
The entire work is stenciled with lacquer to finish

●The final product is subject to harsh inspections before being declared complete.


Tsuishu Tsuishu is a type of lacquerware technique in which lacquer is painted on the surface of unfinished wood in hundreds of layers to create patterned reliefs, then frosted to finish.
The finish looks vermillion tinged with black, but over many years, the color changes to a richer, translucently sparkling vermillion.

*Vermillion surfaces are known as tsuishu, while black surfaces are known as tsuikoku.

Sumo referee gunbai (fans)

Sumo referee gunbai (fans) *In 2007, we produced the gunbai for the 38th generation sumo referee Inosuke Shikimori, and in 2011, for the 36th generation sumo referee Shonosuke Kimura.
A gunbai is a fan-shaped tool that was originally used by generals for commanding their troops in battle. Nowadays, they’re mostly used by sumo referees to direct the fighters and declare winners.

For cleaning and storage

・After use, wash the item briefly in lukewarm water and then dry it completely with a cloth. Use diluted dish detergent to remove oil stains.
・If the carved portions become soiled, wet an old toothbrush to remove the stain, then dry with a cotton cloth.
・Do not store in direct sunlight. (Ultraviolet rays can diminish the luster)
・Keep away from hot and cold utensils. (They can dry the wood and cause warping)
・Avoid placing in microwaves and dish driers.
*The items may not have any particular luster at first, but the more you use it, the more its natural color and luminescence will emerge.
*You can keep using the product even if it acquires scratches, demonstrating its incredible durability.

Location & Address

■ 鈴木漆器店: Suzuki Shikkiten

Home page Signboard
Postal code
9-10 Sakana-machi Murakami Niigata
Business hours
9:00 - 17:00
No schedules