URUSHI-NURI (Art of Japanese Lacquerware)

Keiichi Akimichi

Artist of URUSHI-NURI (Japanese Lacquerware)


Urushi art is a Japanese traditional way of painting with pure sap of a certain tree called Urushi. Surprisingly this technique has been used since Jomon period (14,000 – 300 BC).

You can find it everywhere in daily use like chopsticks, bowls and even for historical shrines in Japan.


He started learning the urushi painting when he was 18 as his family owned the business.

He’s got the title as dento-kogei-shi* after 20 years of his work experience.

He has opened his new studio lately on Mt. Mitake in Satoyama Tokyo area. His skills are well-known so that he gets a call from everywhere even from overseas.

Come visit Musashi Mitake Shrine on the mountain to see his work. The walls are painted by him.

In addition, he also makes accessories like the picture below. This is a hair ornament. Can you guess what it is made of?

Actually this is made of paper!! It feels really light to hold and the surface is coated and painted beautifully by Oriental lacquer so that it’s smooth and resist to water to use.


*Dento-kogei-shi = Government certified traditional craftsmanship

The people who have been recognized as a master of traditional handcrafts and the mission is to teach and raise the next generations in order to preserve the traditions and skills.

You got interested in his work? Please contact us for more information about visiting his studio, taking look at his work and taking part in in his workshop.