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Lacquerware are craft products made of wood or paper on which lacquer is applied in layers.
Lacquer is the sap that oozes out of a tree called Japanese sumac. By applying layers of it repeatedly, it is possible to create vessels that combine endurance and beauty.
Acids, alkalies, and salt do not affect lacquer much, and it has been proven effective in waterproofing, along with the inhibition of bacteria.
Makie: Gold or silver dust is sprinkled and fixed onto the lacquer before it dries completely.
Chinkin: The surface of the ware piece is scraped and gold leaf or dust is put in place to create a drawing.
Having started in the 6th century, when the Emperor ordered a lacquerer to repair his broken crown, it is estimated that this lacquerware has a history of about 1,500 years.
In our days, the market is actively involved in producing cheaper and sturdier products to offer to consumers, by using synthetic resin and chemical paint, instead of producing the traditional wooden lacquerware only. Most of the lacquerware used in restaurants in Japan is made of synthetic resin, 80 to 90% of which are made in the place of origin of Echizen lacquerware.