Behind the development, abundant
Wajima Lacquer Wares are renowned handicrafts.They are durable and elegantly beautiful.There are a number of stories how and when Wajima Lacquer Ware originated, but no one knows for certain. The oldest Wajima Lacquer Ware is one used on doors of Juzo Shrine in Wajima City. The door is said to be made in 1397 (the Muromachi period).
According to ancient manuscripts, large amounts of lacquer were shipped to thecapital from Noto Clan already in the Nara period. It is evident that lacquer ware have been manufactured in Noto from the olden days.
The reason why lacquer ware manufacturing started in the remote region of Noto is that there are abundant of raw materials such as zelkovas, ate and lacquer trees.
Manufacturing daily ware using local resources was a natural development.
Discovery of jinoko made the|
At the beginning of the Edo period, a large amount of ochre, a kind of diatomite was found in Wajima, an important incident for the development of Wajima Lacquer Ware.
The ochre is steam baked and then crushed into dust size. The dust is called jinoko and by mixing it into lacquer, the "life long durability" of Wajima Lacquer Ware is achieved. During the last term of the Edo period, gold leaf painting techniques were acquired from Kanazawa, Aizu and Nagoya.
Wajima is a port town. Taking advantage of water ways, Wajima Lacquer Ware were marketed throughout the nation, and Wajima City has won the fame of the town of lacquer ware.
Wajima Lacquer Wares were marketed on land, also. They were carried on the backs of craftsmen themselves and were sold directly to the users.
The craftsmen not only sold the wares but also repaired them when necessary. This created trust among the customers and helped expand the sales. The customers are well-to-do farmers and merchants throughout the country.
After the Meiji period, restaurants and hotels started using Wajima Lacquer Wares.
Magnificent gold leaf painting and chinkin crafts were used to decorate Wajima Lacquer Wares. At the beginning of the Showa period, a number of art craftsmen emerged and Wajima Lacquer Wares became more of art crafts than daily wares.