About Urushi & Yamanaka-Uri

What is Urushi?

The material Urushi (Japanese Lacquer) is a kind of liquid which is extracted from Urushi tree and is native to Japan (and China). Urushi is said to have been used for more than 12,600 years in order to coat wooden-wares, and prolong life of such ware.

How to extract Urushi

While Urushi has been a familiar material to our life in Japan, this is also a precious one because it takes 8 to 13 years to grow up Urushi tree so that Urushi lacquer can be extracted, and the quantity is only 200ml (6.7 oz.) from one tree.   


Benefits of Urushi

Unlike chemical synthetic materials of coating, Urushi has such features.


Urushi is glossier than synthetic materials because Urushi has higher Refractive Index.


Urushi coating cannot be eroded by chemicals such as acid, alkali, thinner and alcohol. The color can last forever if you keep it away from sunlight. 


Urushi is friendly to human health and natural environment because it is a natural coating & coloring material.



What is Yamanaka-Nuri?

The basic color of "Shi- Moa" Cup is Jet Black which is realized by a Urushi lacquering method called "Yamanaka-Nuri" established in late 16th in Yamanaka  area of Kaga City (Ishikawa Prefecture). Yamanaka is the top domestic producting area of Urushi ware in Japan, and "Yamanaka-Nuri" is designated as one of Traditional Crafts by the Minister of Japan for Economy, Trade and Industry. To be qualified as Craftsman of "Yamanaka-Nuri", one needs to have experienced the production of the works for more than 12 years.  

The base Urushi coating, which is the characteristic of "Yamanana-Nuri", is so smooth that  further processes, middle and top Urushi coating, can be done properly. The technique of base Urushi coating was applied to the invention of Special Primer of  "Shi-Moa" Cup.


Please refer also "About "Kanazawa-Makie"