Lacquerware [漆器] is the traditional japanese lacquered craftwork.
An object is formed from wood, sometimes leather, paper, or basketry. Lacquer is applied to seal and protect the object, and then decoration is added. Generally, three coats (undercoat, middle-coat, and final coat) are used, the final coat sometimes being clear rather than black lacquer, in order to allow decorations to show through.
For colors mostly the red and black lacquers are used frequently.
It is use for tableware, household products, Buddhist sculpture, altar implements and architecture. The greatest feature is anti-corrosiveness, damp proofness and thermal insulation.
The origins of lacquerware date back to the Joumon, which took place around 5000-7000 B.C.
The first examples of it were found in an excavation in Hokkaido, which discovered objects from around 9000 years of age.
Lacquerware was spreaded in Japan around the 6th century, under the strong influence of Tang culture. Due to this influence, the technology improved and also spawned several artistic handicrafts.
It also has been introduced in Europe through trade around the 15-16th century. For this reason, its also called japanese lacquerware.
“Tamamushi-no-zushi” which is the oldest lacquerware in Japan is very famous.
The city of Kanazawa is known for its lacquerware.