History of the production district
In the 6th century (the end of the Kofun period), when the 26th generation Emperor, Keitai, was still a prince, he lived in Echizen and came to Kawada as a local tourist. At that time, he asked for a lacquerer (Nushi ) in Katayama village (now Katayama town, Sabae city, Fukui prefecture) to repair a broken crown. The lacquerer repaired it with urushi (Japanese lacquer) and also presented a black urushi bowl to the prince. The prince was deeply moved by this splendid work and promoted this area as a place for urushi and lacquerware.
The name “Echizen” was put on the national tax list, which means their lacquer was allowed to be used as a tax payment when in those days the annual tribute was rice. They proved their skill with lacquer due to their ability in lacquer tapping.
During the time of construction of the Nikko Toshogu shrine, Echizen lacquer tapping craftsmen were listed as the official lacquer tapping craftsmen in the Mito and Himeji clan. The lacquer tapping craftsmen went around the country, especially in the northern Kanto region, to collect large amounts of urushi . So, it was common knowledge that lacquer tapping craftsmen were people of Echizen.
There is a description saying that an Echizen Tonoguchi craftsmen made a lacquer coated hat (Nurigasa ).
Early 19th century
Mass production of bowls and sets of tableware using Kakishibu (persimmon tannin) as its base had begun in Echizen, where Buddhism was prosperous. It is said that Hachiju -wan and Sowa footed trays promoted the area as the production district of urushi . Production of lacquerware became a characteristic of the district, even claiming over 80% of the market share in commercial lacquerware.
Makie techniques were introduced from Kyoto, and Chinkin techniques were introduced from Noto Wajima to this area. Due to the exchanges between Kaga and Yamanaka, lacquerware production progressed significantly in a short period of time.
Echizen lacquerware was designated as a Japan national traditional craft.
The Echizen Lacquerware Hall (now Urushi no Sato / Echizen Lacquerware Cooperative) was completed. It became the center of technical training and training for future generations.
By carrying out the “Urushi no Sato Kawada Genki project”, we will spread the history and culture cultivated up until now to improve our recognition, interaction with people from Japan and overseas, and help increase the population of the Kawada area.
We hold our “RENEW” event every October. It is an experience based market with open studios of lacquerware and glasses makers in the Kawada area.
“RENEW” and Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten worked together for ” DAINIPPONICHI HAKURANKAI”.kawada-t.jp/renew/