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EXPLORE THE WORLD OF Japanese lacquerware with legendary CRAFTSMEN

Discover the elegance and charm behind one of Japan's most breathtaking crafts. 

 A lacquer spoon after applying gold leaf using traditional tools.

A lacquer spoon after applying gold leaf using traditional tools.

Beauty and strength - two words that come to mind when describing Japan’s famous lacquerware craft, known as urushi. We are excited to provide you with a unique opportunity to learn about this craft directly from a master of the art.

In Japan, lacquerware has a history that some say can be traced back more than 9,000 years. It is said that during ancient times, people discovered that oil, now known as urushiol, harvested from the lacquer tree provides a protective coating around the object it is applied to that improves its durability. Hence, they used the substance to coat wood, pottery, baskets, and bone objects.

While urushiol was first utilized for its strength-providing properties, the beautiful, lustrous sheen that urushi provides eventually led to the development of urushi as a craft. Craftsmen discovered new techniques to use urushi in artistic ways, and they passed this knowledge down through the generations. They even began applying gold and silver powder to objects in a delicate technique known as “maki-e.” 

 The gold leaf is extremely fine, so care must be taken when decorating.

The gold leaf is extremely fine, so care must be taken when decorating.

About the Experience

You will enjoy the rare opportunity to work directly with a master of the urushi craft. This individual's lacquerware works have been showcased both throughout Japan and overseas. He is a direct descendant of an urushi Living National Treasure and grew up surrounded by the craft.

Along with the chance to interact with the artisan, you will further learn about the history of urushi, how he cultivates his craft, and the various steps that culminate into the creation of a gorgeous piece of Japanese lacquerware. In an intimate setting, you will be able to witness the extremely detailed maki-e process. Finally, you will have a chance to take part in making your own piece of lacquerware under the guidance of the urushi artisan.

Experience includes:Private Urushi experience, your own urushi piece
Duration:2 hours (can be adjusted upon request)
Location:Tokyo (inquire about the location)
Price:Please contact us to inquire about pricing
Max # of people:up to 8

Recommended for people who…

● would like to discover more about Japanese aesthetics through lacquerware craft
● wish to learn about the urushi craft directly from a master of the art
● enjoy working with their fingers and are interested in fine, detail-oriented crafts

Optional add-ons to make your plan more memorable...

We can provide TRANSPORTATION, PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY, and KIMONO for your experience.

Please inquire.


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