Lacquerware suitable for everyday use

In this issue, we will introduce some recommended lacquerware that is perfect for everyday use.

When you think of lacquerware, don't you have an image that it is luxurious and used only for special occasions?
Lacquerware lined up at New Year's and celebratory occasions is very elegant and wonderful, isn't it?

Taken from Ishikawa Shuhodo's official Instagram

In fact, lacquerware is perfect for everyday use as well as special occasions.
Lightweight, durable, and easy to clean, it is practical and suitable for everyday use.

Taken from Ishikawa Shuhodo's official Instagram

In this issue, we introduce recommended lacquerware and the charm of lacquerware, including how to care for and select lacquerware.
There are also modern designs that go well with Western cuisine, so please feel free to use them.

What is Lacquerware?

Lacquerware is a craft made by coating lacquer over the sap taken from the lacquer tree.
It is rare for a single craftsman to make a lacquer ware to the last detail; instead, it is common for several craftsmen to share the work: the “kijishi” who makes the base of the wood, the “nurishi” who paints the lacquer, and the “maki-e” who draws pictures on the lacquer.


Characteristics of Lacquerware

・Low thermal conductivity
Since it does not transfer heat to the outside, you can pick up hot items even if they are hot.
Hot items stay hot and cold items stay cold.

Lacquer coatings are hard and resistant to cracking. It is also resistant to acids, alkalis, salts, and alcohol, and has excellent water resistance and antiseptic properties.

・Antimicrobial properties
Since ancient times, it has been used for bowls and stacked boxes for food.

Because of its light weight, it can be lifted without difficulty by both children and the elderly.

・Environmentally friendly
Since it is a plant material, it is harmless. It is also an eco-friendly vessel that can be repainted and used for a long time even if its surface is scratched.

Major Lacquer Crafts

 The following is a list of the main types of lacquerware. Aizu lacquerware, Yamanaka and Wajima lacquerware, and Kishu lacquerware are considered the three major types of lacquerware in Japan.

Aizu Lacquerware (Fukushima Prefecture)

In the manufacturing process, Aizu lacquerware is divided into two types: round items such as bowls, and plate items such as trays.
Aizu lacquerware is characterized by the beauty of its auspicious designs and diverse decorations.
The pattern combining pine, bamboo, plum, and arrowheads is called “Aizu-e.

Wajima-nuri (Ishikawa)

It is characterized by the use of Wajima jinoko, which can only be obtained in Wajima City.
Decorations are gorgeous, and techniques such as “Chinkin,” in which gold is inserted into carved areas, and “Maki-e,” using gold and silver powders, are well known.


Yamanaka-nuri (Ishikawa Prefecture)

It is made in Yamanaka Onsen area of Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture.
They excel in wood-hewn techniques and are characterized by their natural wood grain and elegant maki-e (gold-relief lacquer).
Recently, “modern lacquerware” with urethane coating on a plastic base has also been produced.
Because of its durability, it is used for school lunches.


Kishu Lacquerware (Wakayama Prefecture)

Lacquerware made mainly in the Kuroe area in the northwestern part of Kainan City, Wakayama Prefecture, is also known as Kuroe-nuri (Kuroe lacquerware).
It is characterized by its simplicity, durability, and practicality.

Negoro-nuri, characterized by a design in which the underlying black color emerges from the vermilion lacquered surface, is another type of Kishu lacquerware.



The unique technique of “Togidashi KARANURU” (polish-out varnish) is used to create this beautiful lacquer ware with its multi-layered colored lacquer patterns.
It takes about two months to complete the process of applying dozens of coats of lacquer to the base made of Tsugaru hiba (hiba cypress), and then polishing.


Echizen Lacquer Ware (Fukui Prefecture)

Currently, more than 80% of lacquerware for the food service industry and commercial use in Japan is produced.
Characterized by its subdued luster and elegant opulence, lacquerware has been popular for use in weddings and celebratory occasions.
Since each process requires a high level of skill, the family business has been passed down from generation to generation.

If you are in doubt, this is the one! Easy-to-clean lacquerware

Many people have longed to buy lacquerware bowls, but are reluctant to do so because of the difficulty of caring for them,
Many people may have a longing to buy a lacquerware bowl someday, but find it difficult to care for and expensive to buy.

For such people, we recommend the soup bowls from Matsuya Lacquerware Store, which are perfect for daily use!

Echizen lacquered soup bowl (dishwasher-safe) vermilion, Matsuya Lacquerware Store 

Three reasons why we recommend it
・Dishwasher and dryer safe
・Easy-to-use design and size
・Reasonably priced

The greatest feature of this product is that it can be used in household dishwashers and dryers even though it is lacquered.
Since these bowls are used frequently, it is nice that they are easy to clean.

The lacquer is made of high-quality unoak lacquer, which has no oil content, and has a matte finish and a refined, fine texture.
The size is not too large and is perfect for daily miso soup.

It is also reasonably priced, making it ideal for first-time users of lacquerware.

Recommended Lacquerware for Everyday Use

In addition to Matsuya lacquerware bowls, there are many other types of lacquerware that are perfect for everyday use!

We have carefully selected a few of them to introduce you to some of our wonderful lacquerware.

Shirasagi Bowl M Lacquer Red Sakura Shirasagi Woodwork 

This red bowl has a lovely colon shape.
The wood grain can be seen from the bottom, which is a unique feature of handmade craftsmanship.
The bowls are made using the “nuki-urushi” technique, in which lacquer is repeatedly applied and wiped off, allowing the lacquer to soak into the wood.

The unique form fits comfortably in the hand and is very practical.
It is an easy-to-use bowl that can be used not only for miso soup, but also for soup and bowls.
We recommend pairing it with a different color, black.

SHIRASAGI BOWL S Children's bowl, lacquer red, Sakura, Shirasagi woodworking

This is a product for children of the Shirasagi bowls introduced earlier. The size is made smaller and the inside of the bowl is ground a little thicker.
By doing so, the center of gravity is stabilized, making it less likely to spill.
The bowls are designed to be easy to hold even in the hands of small children.

Simple lacquer ware can be used for a long time without getting tired of it.
When your child grows up, he or she can use it in different ways, such as as a salad bowl, a small bowl, or a dessert cup.
These bowls are designed to expose children to the real thing from an early age, and to nurture a sense of respect for things.

18.1cm/7.2in 3-tiered Stacked Bin Lacquered with White Wood, Cinnabar Inside, Matsuya Lacquer Ware

This stacked box features natural wood grain. The inside is vermilion, giving it a striking impact when the lid is opened.
In addition to New Year's, cherry-blossom viewing, and other special occasions, it would be a great surprise for entertaining guests.

Another key point is that it can be used in a variety of ways!
You can fill each tier with different side dishes, or use the optional dividers to serve a small amount of side dishes for one person per tier.

The design is a blend of Japanese and Western styles that easily blends in with interior decor.
When not in use, it is great to leave it out on the table with snacks and other items.

Dedicated dividers that can be used in combination.
Convenient for packing a variety of side dishes in small portions.

Echizen lacquered soup bowls (dishwasher-safe), a couple's set, Matsuya Lacquerware Store

This is a set product that adds a black soup bowl to the vermilion-lacquered soup bowls introduced earlier.
The black soup bowls are also dishwasher-safe.

A special box is also available, making it a perfect gift for wedding gifts and other occasions.
This product fits the needs of a wide range of people, including those starting a new life and those using lacquer ware for the first time.

Hikime Utsuwa, Negoro 4-Piece Set, Ishikawa Shurihodo

A set of beautiful lacquer ware in deep red. The set includes four bowl-shaped small bowls in three types (large, medium, and small) and a lid. Each of the bowls can be used individually, but they can also be used in various ways depending on the combination.

For example, if you place a piece of bread on the large lid and a small bowl of soup on top, you can use it as a morning plate.
Also, if you put the lid on top of the bowl, it can be used as a lunch box.

The bowls can be stacked and stored compactly, so they are recommended for people who live alone and do not want to add more things to their home.
If you buy more glasses and other items to go with this set, you will have enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The brush marks made by applying lacquer over and over again make this a gem of a product.
Why not use the craftsmanship close at hand?

There is also a black set, so it would be great to combine different colors! They also make great gifts.


Curry spoon, tame (Ishikawa lacquerware) 

 This lacquer curry spoon has a simple form. The long, slightly warped handle makes it comfortable and practical in the hand. The chic spoon, which looks like a mixture of red and black, can be used for a wide range of purposes, from daily use to entertaining. The design is not too assertive, so it goes well with other materials such as ceramic and glass.

 The spoon is easy to hold and smooth to the touch, making it ideal for a wide range of dishes such as soups and rice dishes as well as curry. It is also good for use with sweets such as zenzai.

The fact that the spoon does not conduct heat easily and does not become extremely hot (or cold) even when hot or cold food is served to the mouth is another advantage of lacquerware.

Artist's lacquerware perfect for special occasions.

Each artist has his or her own style in terms of the grain of the wood and the texture of the lacquer.

How about owning a piece of lacquerware that will last a lifetime, even if the price is a little higher?

Shohei Aimi, Yohaku Woodworks

The beauty of the wood grain and the refined appearance of Yohaku Mokkosha's vessels show their commitment to handcraftsmanship.

From the log to the finished product, the entire process is done by one person.

The exquisitely curved form is unique.

Yohaku Woodworks Shohei Aimi List Page

Shinji Kobayashi

Kobayashi's theme is to create everyday vessels that are understated, enhance food, and make you feel a little relaxed.

The silky, moist texture gives an impression of high quality.

The calm dark red color called “Aka-tamenuri” blends easily with the dining table.

Takayuki Hachiya

Mr. Hachiya produces simple, neat-looking vessels that make everyday dining more delicious.

The reason for the large tatara-ba bowl with a high pedestal was inspired by a bowl that appeared in “Princess Mononoke” when he was watching the movie.

The special appearance of the bowls will take your dining table to the next level.

Do you think it is difficult to care for lacquerware?
You should refrain from using a dishwasher or dryer, but other than that, it is not much different from ordinary vessels. You can use lacquerware for a long time just by taking care of a few things.

Before use

〇catch the scent of
Lacquerware that has just been purchased may have a distinctive odor.
If you are concerned about it, try the following methods.

If you are not going to use it immediately, it is best to leave it in a well-ventilated place for 7 to 10 days.
Warm rice water and wipe with a small amount of vinegar mixed in.
Leave it in the rice bin for a few days.

〇To pour hot water through - to avoid cracking
Lacquerware is susceptible to sudden changes in temperature, so suddenly putting something hot in it may discolor it white or deform it.
Therefore, before using lacquerware, it should be “boiled through” by placing it in lukewarm water.

way of washing 

Scrubbing will scratch the surface, so wash with a soft sponge.
Most stains can be removed with lukewarm water, but oil stains can be removed with a mild dishwashing detergent.

After washing, wipe off the water with a soft cloth and polish it further to give it a unique luster.
Avoid drying it naturally, as water droplets may remain on the surface.

If it loses its luster
Soak a cloth with a small amount of cooking oil and polish.
It will remove dirt and restore the shine.
After polishing, rinse with hot water, wipe dry, and store.

method of storage

Store lacquer ware on a shelf out of direct sunlight, stacking them on top of each other.
It is a good idea to place a piece of paper or cloth between them to prevent them from being scratched.
When storing lacquerware together with ceramics, it is safer to put the ceramics on the bottom.

The great enemy of lacquerware is dryness.
If you will not use it for a long period of time, fill a cup with a little water and place it at the back of the shelf.
This will prevent cracks and deformation.
For items that are used only occasionally, such as stacked boxes, wrap them in cloth or thin paper and store them in a box.

How to Select Lacquerware

Choose lacquerware that suits your lifestyle, such as “what kind of food you will serve” and “when you will use it”.

For everyday use

If you are buying for the first time, we recommend the plain bowls, which can be used for a variety of Japanese and Western menus.

If it is plain, it goes well with the vessels you have and can be used in a wide variety of ways, such as bowls and dessert cups.
Also, if it is wood-grained or upholstered, it is less likely to show scratches.

For special occasions and hospitality

For New Year's Day, choose “gorgeous decorations and designs” for stacked boxes, bowls for guests, and other items used on special occasions.

That alone will give your dining table a luxurious atmosphere.
For such a special occasion, choose a good, long-lasting vessel.
If you buy them from a specialty store, they can be repainted so they will last a lifetime.
You can even pass it down from parent to child.


Lacquerware, called “japan” in English, is a representative Japanese craft.
It is an item that fits in with the lifestyle of Japanese people, who eat with a utsuwa in their hands.

Lightweight and comfortable to the palate, the utensils are ideal for daily use.
It can be used for a long time by simply following these simple rules: do not scrub, drain after washing, and avoid microwaves and dishwashers.

We hope this article will lower the hurdle to using lacquerware.
We hope you will try to incorporate lacquerware into your regular meals.

The lacquerware vessels introduced in this article can be found here.

Wood Crafts List

Lacquerware List

You can also click here to read an article about our visit to Shirasagi Mokko, a company that makes lacquer bowls.

A day of enchanting wood grains and touching nature with Yamanaka lacquerware [Journey around pottery vol.11]

We are a mail-order site that sells vessels made by artists.

We sell vessels by popular artists who exhibit at pottery fairs and craft fairs throughout Japan, so please take a look if you like.