Aizu Lacquer

Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture

Aizu lacquerware: A world of incredible depth where traditional techniques meet modern aesthetics

Glossy black lacquer key box and sophisticated fukiurushi lacquer amenity box

These two items can be found in TRAIN SUITE SHIKI-SHIMA suites, and convey the incredible history and culture of Aizu lacquerware. In the key box, you'll feel the depth of tradition through incredible craftwork where layer after layer of carefully applied lacquer creates a lustrous sheen. The amenity box was created with a traditional Aizu technique called fukiurushi, where layers of transparent unrefined lacquer are applied to a wooden base then wiped away to create a finished texture that is perfectly infused with the wood grain. This work requires incredible skill, and brings out a beauty of sophisticated depth that blends the traditional with the modern, creating something new through techniques passed down through generations. In each of these boxes, you'll feel the painstaking artistry and pride for highly honed craft that went into its creation.

An Aizu lacquer key box is placed in each suite room. The lustrous sheen of the lacquer and glistening lines of gold lacquer are simply breath-taking.
The lid opens to reveal a deep red velvet lining. The combination of jet black and deep crimson is stunning.
You'll find the amenity box waiting in the washroom area. The beautiful wood grain of this masterpiece is preserved through the fukiurushi technique used to create it, and finished with the TRAIN SUITE SHIKI-SHIMA logo painted in gold lacquer through a style known as maki-e.
The inner box painted in red lacquer holds passenger amenities. The deep red was created by coating then wiping away the lacquer countless times. Feel free to pick it up to take a closer look, as Aizu lacquerware becomes even more lustrous the more it is handled.

Lacquerware that enriches daily life is part of the history of Aizu and its inhabitants

The production of lacquerware in Aizu began during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600), and was first introduced by Lord Ujisato Gamo. Since that time, these techniques have been preserved and nurtured by the people of this snowy land. Aizu lacquerware is created from a sturdy wooden base that is carefully coated with lacquer then finished with a final glossy coat, making it durable and suitable for everyday use.
Suzuzen Lacquerware was founded in 1832, dating back to Zenkuro Suzuki, a purveyor to the Matsudaira family, a feudal clan of the time. At their storefront in Aizuwakamatsu, they continue to pass down the traditions of Aizu lacquerware.
Sekibikodo creates Aizu lacquerware updated for modern generations with items such as "BITOWA", "NODATE" and "urushiol", bringing new attention to the craft and spreading its appeal to people of all ages, genders and nationalities.

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