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Urushi (lacquer) Tools

Different tools are used for kiji(wood base), shitaji, nuri and kashoku processes.
The tools are the essence of lacquerware manufacturing. The artisans handle them with special care so that the tools can be used for long time.
Recently, the artisans who make the tools such as lacquer brushes are becoming rare and the tools for manufacturing lacquerware themselves are also becoming rare items.

Memorial ceremony for tools

Once a year, the memorial ceremony for the tools where the tools are burnt expressing appreciation and gratitude to the tools and thankfulness to the support of the people in the area is held.

Kan-na peeler

Various types of kan-na peelers are made by the kiji(wood base) artisans according to the shapes and sizes of the bowls to be made.
Therefore, the kiji(wood base) artisan’s work area includes a smithy.

Hera (wooden spatula)

Hera (wooden spatula) is an important tool used in the shitaji process.
A piece of wood is curved and adjusted to be formed into a comfortable shape to apply under coating of lacquer.
The artisans make their own original tools so that they fit in their own hands.

Hake (brush)

Hake brushes are used mainly in the nakanuri and uwanuri processes.
The hake brushes are made by bundling human hair.
The nushi (lacquer applying) artisans adjust the length of the brushes so they can be used comfortably.

Maki-e fude (decoration brush)

There are various types of maki-e fude (decoration brushes), thick ones and thin ones. Animal hair such as rabbit hair and cat hair are used to make these brushes.
It is said that the most valuable brushes are made of mouse hair. Various types of brushes called “sakishiro”, “hon-neji”, etc. are used.