Lacquerware originating from Negoro Temple in Wakayama Prefecture is called negoro-nuri.
The monks who lived in this temple during the Kamakura Period (1185 to 1333) made lacquerware as an item to be used at their temple, and this was the beginning of the negoro-nuri style lacquerware.
Negoro-nuri style lacquerware is created with black and vermillion lacquer. After the ‘shitaji’ undercoats, numerous coats of black lacquer are applied. The final top coat is a single layer of vermillion lacquer that is not usually adorned with any motifs.
In general, original and authentic negoro-nuri lacquerware was created after the wear-and-tear of many years when the vermillion coating was worn away and the black underneath peeped through in various places creating an uncommon timeworn beauty that was cherished; sometimes part of the red may have been deliberately polished away to reveal touches of black as a form of decoration. The lacquer coating also degraded with time causing fine cracks to appear and giving the surface a unique weathered appearance that cannot be replicated.
However, the negoro-nuri style lacquerware that is produced in workshops and available today has been created by deliberately polishing the vermillion lacquer until patterns of black become visible. With time and frequent handling, these modern pieces will also develop their own distressed beauty and character.
JAPANPAGE. (2018). Japanpage. Retrieved 10 February 2018, from https://www.japanpage.net/tanioka/stories/153?lg=en
Negoro Nuri. (2018). Decorativeartsguild.com. Retrieved 10 February 2018, from http://decorativeartsguild.com/id2.html
The characteristics and history of negoro-nuri style and Kishu lacquerware. (2018). En-tradition.com. Retrieved 10 February 2018, from http://en-tradition.com/lacquer/negoro.html
-トーハク-, 東. (2018). Negoro Ware – The Beauty of Red Lacquer. Tnm.jp. Retrieved 10 February 2018, from http://www.tnm.jp/modules/r_free_page/index.php?id=346&lang=en
Please visit my Etsy store to see my collection of vintage and antique Japanese treasures.