About Suzuki ShikkitenSince 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 Name||Murakami Engraved Tsuishu|
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
Tadashi Suzuki ; Top-class lacquerware artisan (*) Masashi
Shinya Suzuki ; Murakami engraved tsuishu traditional artisan (decoration specialist)
Primarily handles new goods, made-to-order goods production and sale
- 1. 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
- 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
- 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.
TsuishuTsuishu 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)*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
- Postal code
- 9-10 Sakana-machi Murakami Niigata
- Business hours
- 9:00 - 17:00
- No schedules