The Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Work Institute was established in 1954 as the first lacquer work institute in Japan. With the aim of training successors of the craft and handing down the three traditional techniques of Kimma, Zonsei, and Choshitsu, the Institute has produced more than 400 graduates so far, and many of them have been active as lacquer work artists and technicians. The institute has two courses, the Student Course and the Researcher Course. Students learn basic subjects such as designing, modeling, and general techniques of lacquer work; molding, painting, and decorating. Researchers, under the guidance of instructors, create works based on themes of their own choosing and learn more about various techniques. The master-instructors consist of three Important Intangible Cultural Property Holders (also known as Living National Treasures) from Kagawa; ISOI Masami, and YAMASHITA Yoshito, and OTANI Hayato, and two from the other areas, MAE Fumio, and MASUMURA Kiichiro. The greatest appeal of this institute is that students are able to not only learn lacquer work techniques but also acquire a sense of color, design, and attitude toward lacquer-crafting directly from such masters of the art. In recent years, the students at the Institute the number of students from other prefectures and the percentage of women has increased. Selected works by graduates are on display, and visitors are welcome to watch students training.
Art Fair Tokyo 2022
/ Makiko Izumitani / Karin Yamada