Classification Nationally Designated Traditional Crafts
Artist NAKANO Koichi
Holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property (Maki-e lacquerware decoration)

Explanatory Notes

Name of the work:

Two seagulls, depicted by means of eggshells and the maki-e technique, fly leisurely over the calm sea in gentle sunlight. The bold composition is the result of elaborate workmanship.


The history of Kanazawa-shikki dates back to around 1630, when Toshitsune Maeda, the third lord of the Kaga clan who promoted arts and crafts, invited a great master of maki-e to introduce the decorative lacquer technique. Subsequently, the master’s disciples developed Kanazawa-shikki by combining the elegant aristocratic culture and samurai culture.
Kanazawa-shikki is used for furnishings, tea utensils, etc. The ware is produced through a process of applying Japanese lacquer a few dozen times. Roiro polishing (glossing of the lacquered surface) and hana-nuri finish (without surface polishing) are distinctive Kanazawa-shikki techniques, as is shanome (cloth texture pattern) coating. Various techniques such as hira-maki-e (flat maki-e), taka-maki-e (embossed design), raden (shell inlay), hyomon (decoration with thin metal foil) and rankaku (decoration with egg shells) are used to magnificent decorative effect.

Major Producers

Kanazawa Lacquerware Manufacturers Cooperative Association

9-12 Oyama-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0918
TEL: 076-263-1157 FAX: 076-263-1158