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Archive materials of Kiji(wood base)-ya

As a historical material that tells us the story of Echizen lacquerware, the archive materials of Kiji-ya, where the kiji(wood base) forming of bowls used to be carried out from late Edo period to early Meiji period, are preserved at the Shikki Jinja (lacquerware shrine) in Katayama area.
Although the kiji(wood base) process is carried out by machines today, the scrolls tell us what tools were used and processes relating to the kiji(wood base) process when the entire process was carried out manually by artisans’ hands.
We can learn how the bowls were manufactured in the old days and it is very rare that the tools and such historical materials are preserved in their complete forms. They are registered as the tangible folk-cultural properties of Fukui prefecture.

The original form of soup bowls of gavel shape

Tools

Waraji (straw sandal) used to fixate a wood block
In the old days, the kiji(wood base)-shi artisans used to use the reversed waraji (straw sandals) to fixate the wood blocks and formed the shapes of bowls by using kan-na peelers, chisels, sen (scrapers). After a kiji(wood base) base is formed, lacquer is applied with a brush and a bowl is completed.
A scroll having tools recorded

Processes

  1. ・Kimoto kezuri (wood-base shaving)  Remove warping of a bowl and make it flat.
  2. ・Sotogawa kezuri (outside shaving)  Shave the outside of the bowl in a rough shape.
  3. ・Sotogawa narashi (outside smoothening)  Smooth out the outside of the bowl.
  4. ・Hesokuri (forming of platform)  Form a platform.
  5. ・Urazoko narashi (bottom smoothening)  Smooth out the bottom of the platform.
  6. ・Uchi-bori (inside shaving)  Shave the inside of the bowl.
  7. ・Sokoguri (inside smoothening)  Smooth out the inside.