Kobayashi Sikki (Japanese lacquer)

About Kobayashi Shikki

It is said that the establishment of Tsugaru nuri (Tsugaru Shikki) goes back to the reign of Nobumasa TSUGARU (1646 – 1710 years), the fourth lord of Hirosaki Domain (Current Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture), in the middle of the Edo period.

Nobumasa TSUGARU invited many craftsmen and engineers from all over the country to Hirosaki in order to develop Tsugaru's industry.

One of the craftsmen was Genbei IKEDA, the nurishi, or craftsman of Shikki, in Wakasa Province (Present Fukui Prefecture). Under the order of Nobumasa TSUGARU, he became a disciple of Tarozaemon SEIKAI, a nurishi (present Tokyo). 

After the death of his father Genbei, his son Gentaro was initiated by his menter into the secret "Seikai hanuri”, which was handed down from father to only son. 

Gentaro IKEDA, who returned to Hirosaki, from Edo called himself "Genbei Seikai(青海源兵衛" from his menter family name "Seikai" and his father last name "Genbei". Genbei SEIKAI has continued his Tsugaru shikki from generation to generation, inheriting the name "Genbei SEIKAI ".

Kobayashi Shikki was established by Kobayashi Yuzaburo, the first, as a direct disciple of Genbei SEIKAI, the seventh. Since then, for more than 100 years and more, six generations of Kobayashi Shikki  have worked in the Hirosaki region, focusing on lacquer art.

Lacquer coating, polishing and polishing can be done as many as 38 ~ 48 times, and it takes as much as 3 ~ 6 months to complete a piece of work because of the enormous amount of time and effort that is commonly referred to as 'fool's painting'.

Vision / Passion

Kobayashi Shikki values its tradition, but also actively collaborates with new materials and items that emerge with the times, such as glass products.

To bring out a new expression of a material by expanding the possibility of Tsugaru coating. This is the expression of the Kobayashi Shikki concept of "Always be interested in new things, take on challenges, and communicate" and at the same time, it is our mission to ensure that Tsugaru lacquerware will always be with you and will provide happiness and spiritual enrichment.

Further details of Tsugaru Shikki (product from Kobayashi Shikki)

At the beginning of the Edo period when Tsugaru Shikki was established by Nobumasa TSUGARU, lacquer ware was used to decorate the sheath of a sword worn by samurai (samurai) at their waist with beauty. It is unique to the middle to late Edo period, when swords came to be seen not as weapons but as accessories.

At the 1873 Vienna International Exhibition (1873), Aomori Prefecture exhibited lacquer ware under the name of "Tsugaru shikki (lacquer ware)" and received an award. This is why the name "Tsugaru shikki" became popular.

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