Handcrafted Urushi Lacquer Chopstick with Hibiscus Motif

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Elevate your dining experience with our handcrafted Ryukyu-style Urushi lacquer chopsticks.

Adorned with a distinctive Noble Black shade and raised Hibiscus motif, these chopsticks embody traditional Ryukyu-style lacquerware's rich heritage and craftsmanship from Southern Japan.

Product Details

  • Length: 230 mm (9")
  • Color: Noble Black (kuro-nuri)
  • Motif: Hibiscus
  • Base Material: Japanese cherry birch (Mizume-zakura)
  • Finish: Urushi Lacquer
  • Quantity: One pair
  • Origin: Crafted in Japan

Urushi Lacquer: Durable Elegance with a Natural Guard

Urushi is a natural lacquer from the lacquer tree (T. vernicifluum, Urushi-no-ki in Japanese) polished to achieve a durable, high-luster finish. Urushi possesses strong antibacterial properties, making it a preferred choice for Japanese culinary implements like chopsticks, plates, bowls, trays, and more.

Ryukyu-style Urushi Lacquerware's Unique Characteristics

In Japan, using urushi lacquer dates back to the prehistoric Jomon period. Southern Japan developed its unique "Ryukyu" techniques over time, deeply rooted in the region's subtropical climate and culture.

Distinctive Raised Motifs: A hallmark of Ryukyu lacquerware is the use of a raised motif technique known as "tsuikin." In this method, lacquer is mixed with pigments to form a paste called "tsuikin-mochi." This paste is spread into thin layers, cut according to the design, and then applied to the lacquered surface, creating a three-dimensional effect.

These motifs often depict the region's iconic flora and fauna, such as hibiscus, orchids, Japanese Hamayu lilies, and the Japanese quail (Uzura,) celebrating the rich natural tapestry and diversity of Southern Japan.

Captivating Colors: Ryukyu lacquerware is renowned for its use of "shu-nuri" (Vermillion Red) and "kuro-nuri" (Noble Black) color pallets. Vermillion Red, associated with the South and Yang, symbolizes vitality, encapsulating this color's lively and dynamic nature. Noble Black, associated with the North and Yin, represents dignity, conveying depth, sophistication, and strength.

Meticulous Preparation Process: Ryukyu lacquerware undergoes a lengthy preparation process, including drying the wood for several years, and multiple layers of urushi lacquer coats to enhance durability.