Wajima's Chinkin has received support not only by the Chinkin craftsmen themselves. Other factors have also made contributions, providing an environment where craftsmen can demonstrate their ability to the full.
The First factor is that Wajima-nuri is based on a sturdy foundation that is resilient to any type of carving. The robust, smooth lacquered surface is achieved through multiple processes carefully done by hand. With this, Chinkin craftsmen can make any carved patterns they desire from delicate to dynamic carvings.
Chisels are crucial as well because they serve as the craftsmen's hands. All chisels that Chinkin craftsmen use are custom-made, and each craftsman makes his own adjustments to the chisels so that he can create his own carving style. The way of sharpening a chisel with a whetstone is also important, and the whetstones are carefully handled as sharpening a chisel edge to one's own specifications can make subtle changes in carving touches. Thus the carving tools play an important role in supporting the craftsmen.
The working environment is another factor. Craftsmen are rivals to each other in a positive way, and can improve their skills by competing and learning from each other.
Above all the most important factor that has supported the Chinkin of Wajima is that those who are engaged in the production and sales have a pride in the quality as well as having an uncompromising attitude in their view of the products. This attitude of all the people engaged in the industry is the most important factor that has raised the level of Chinkin skills.
Copyright Ishikawa Prefecture JAPAN 1997-2005