The origin of Echizen lacquerware (越前漆器) is said to date back to about 1,500 years ago, to the early 6th century. When the 26th Emperor Keitai was still a Prince at that time, he came to Echizen and ordered a lacquer craftsman in the Katayama village (current, Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture) to repair his broken crown. The urushi lacquer craftsman repaired the crown with lacquer and presented it to him along with a black urushi lacquerware bowl specially made for him. The Prince was so impressed with the black urushi lacquer bowl then he encouraged the Katayama village to produce lacquerware. This is said to be the beginning of today's Echizen lacquerware.
Since then, the Echizen area has been one of the largest producers of lacquerwares in Japan. Echizen lacquerwares are famous for their challenges in the new technology.
Here we introduce a very modern style O-wan (Japanese bowl) from Echizen, which are also designated Japan Traditional Crafts. The most apparent characteristic of this Echizen lacquerware is that they have a very glossy finish. The key to this factor is the use of industrially refined natural urushi lacquer coating, which has an advanced finer refining process of the natural urushi lacquer, creating a glossier finish.
The decoration you see here is a traditional methodology called Byakudan (白檀), which applies design cut thin silver metal film and the colored urushi lacquer coating over it is creating a goldish shine of the design.
We hope you will enjoy this modern but traditional feel of the Echizen lacquerware.