Usukuchi Urushi

Usukuchi Urushi “Thin lipped cup”

Urushi, Usukuchi, Uruwashiku “Elegant, light, and lacquered”

Japan’s oldest lacquerware was made 9,000 years ago, and European aristocrats competed to collect lacquerware during the Age of Discovery. The Japanese use this  world-renowned lacquer technique to enrich the lives of materials through elegant, protective decoration. Usukuchi Urushi is made by wiping and applying layers of lacquer to a thin-lipped cup. The cup is carefully polished by hand to create a soft and rich texture.

Living with lacquer and cultivating time.

Usukuchi Urushi made from natural wood and lacquer is a sustainable cup that can be repainted or repaired and used for generations. The transparent layers of lacquer showcase natural variations in the wood grains, so the lacquerware looks alive and unique.

Usukuchi Urushi  8,800 yen (tax included)
Photo left: for 90ml Right: for 120ml
* Usukuchi Urushi is a trademark pending.

● Quality
Product name: Lacquerware / Surface coating type: Lacquer coating / Substrate type: Natural wood
● Capacity/size
For 90ml: Full volume approx. 140ml / Length 72mm x Width 72mm x Height 72mm
For 120ml: Full volume approx. 180ml / Length 72mm x Width 72mm x Height 83mm
● Package
Navy blue vanity case with a tri-fold leaflet

For inquiries about Usukuchi Urushi,click here.

Usukuchi Urushi is born from craftsmanship

Kiji-biki (Wood sawing)

A Kiji-shi (woodworker) uses a potter’s wheel and knives to grind the wood. Usukuchi Urushi utilizes a method of cutting the material called Tatekidori to increase the strength, making it possible to create delicate and thin lacquerware.

Kakishibu Shitaji (Persimmon juice base application)

Before coating with urushi lacquer, persimmon tannin is applied to the cup as a base. Kakishibu, persimmon juice, is an extract obtained by pulverizing and compressing immature astringent persimmons, then fermenting and maturing them.

Usukuchi Togidashi  “thin sanding”

Sanding achieves the ideal thinness unattainable through wheel and knives alone.

Sabi urushi Shitaji (rust lacquer base application)

The wooden base is sealed with Sabi urushi, rust lacquer. The zelkova wood used for Usukuchi Urushi is very hard and strong, and has a elegant grain. In order to prevent the liquid from leaking out from the wood grain, the undercoat is applied with “rust lacquer,” a mixture of unprocessed lacquer, polishing powder, and kieselguhr.

Fuki urushi (wiping lacquer)

The process of applying and wiping lacquer is called Fuki Urushi. Multiple layers are applied.

After the Kakishibu Shitaji and Sabi Shitaji process, Fuki Urushi process is repeated three times or more, then Usukuchi Urushi is completed. The lacquer penetrates the wood and dries differently depending on the season. Therefore, the layers of the Fuki urushi process is adjusted to produce the desired color and luster.

Koma mark

Stamping the Koma mark, our workshop emblem made by Mr. Ryukoku Inamura, completes the process.

From left to right, ①Wood base ②Kakishibu shitaji  ③Sabi Shitaji  ④ Fuki Urushi #1 ⑤Fuki Urushi #2  ⑥ Fuki Urushi #3.

○ Handling Precautions

  • The cup is NOT suitable for microwave ovens or dishwashers.
  • Hand wash in cold or warm water. Do not submerge and soak.. Gold, silver, or other materials may peel off.
  • Use a neutral detergent and wash with the soft side of a dish sponge.
  • Exposure to direct sunlight causes discoloration.
  • If the lacquer irritates your skin, please consult your doctor.
  • In case the lacquer coating deteriorates, it is possible to reapply the lacquer.

For inquiries about Usukuchi Urushi,click here.