Kashoku – Chinkin(carving) Process

Chinkinshi – artisans who give color and gracefulness Chinkin(carving) is a technique to apply color on the surface by drawing a design on the surface after the uwanuri process, carving the lacquer with chisels and chinkin(carving) knives of various sizes and rubbing the lacquer in the carved design. To draw out beautiful designs, various types of plants and animals, sceneries are expressed with gold, silver and many different colors. Chinkin(carving) requires sophisticated skills to express dots, lines and planes. Well trained veteran chinkinshi artisans take this role to beautifully decorate and finish the lacquer surface. The techniques of carving dots and lines on the finalized lacquer surface are called ten-bori and sen-bori. Thin films of gold and color pigments are carefully applied on the surface after the lacquer is applied.


Various types of chisels and knives are used according to carving dots, carving lines and carving out planes on the lacquer surface. Color pigments and colored metal powders are applied to the carved parts to bring out the design three dimensionally.

The chisels used for chinkin(carving) include various sizes, from thin ones to thick ones, and they are used according to what is to be carved, dots or lines.

  • colorful chinkin(carving) design using color pigments

  • design of a crane expressed using thin films of gold