It should be noticed that whenever lampblack is mentioned as a mixture, it is used for the superior kinds, wood - or coal - soot being used for inferior articles. Implements and Materials used in the Manufacture of Plain Lacquered Ware. - Hera. - A spatula made of Hinoki (Chamcecyparis obtusa), used for applying the under or priming coats and for mixing the lacquer.


A flat brush made from human hair, used for laying on the lacquer.


Finely - chopped hemp. Mixed with lacquer, it is used for covering joints.


Hempen cloth, used for pasting over the wood to prevent it splitting, and to strengthen corners, etc. For very fine work and small articles, silk is used.

Ji-No-Ko (Burnt Clay)

Afterwards reduced to a very fine powder. Pounded bricks are often used.

How To - No - Ko

A fine kind of clay, which is procured from Mount Mari, near Kioto. This is likewise burnt, and reduced to a fine powder.


Charcoal made of Honoki (Magnolia hypoleuca), used for smoothing down the under - coats; it has rather a rough grain. Also charcoal made from Hiyakujikko (Lagerstraemia indica). This is very soft and of a fine grain, and is used for the final smoothing before hand - polishing. This kind is called by the trade Ro - iro - sumi (black - coloured charcoal).

How To - Ishi

Whetstones of 4 different qualities of fineness: Ara - to (rough), shiro - to (white), awo - to (green), and najura, the last being the finest. These are used for smoothing down the priming coats.

Tsuno - Ko (Horn Powder)

This is made of calcined deer's horns reduced to a fine powder, and is used for the final polishing with the finger.

To-Kusa (Equisetum)

A kind of scouring rush, used for smoothing the lacquer.

Kaki - No - Shibu (Persimmon Juice)

This is used when no ground lacquer is required, as in the Aidzu lacquer, or when the grain of the wood is shown.

N'Ikawa (Glue)

This is used to mix with the groundwork for cheap kinds of ware, instead of lacquer.

Yuyen - Sumi (Lampblack)

Used for groundwork of cheap articles, mixed with persimmon juice. For still more common ware, soot of any kind is used. Gofun (whiting) - Made from burning old shells, such as are obtained from the ancient kitchen middens; used for mixing with glue to make the groundwork of common lacquer.

Sho - No (Camphor)

Used for mixing with lacquer, to make it thinner and spread more easily.

Hocho (Knife)

Used for scraping off all inequalities of the hempen cloth after it is pasted on the article, etc.

Yoshino - Gami

A very thin kind of paper, made at Yoshino; used for filtering the lacquer before using it.

Jo - Ban

A box with a very hard lacquered lid, usually containing drawers for the various pencils, etc. The lid is used for mixing the lacquer on while working.

Tsuno - Ko - Ban

Board for mixing and powdering the deer's - horn ashes before using: generally made of cherry - wood or oak.


A cave or cellar underground is used, where practicable; otherwise, an air - tight case, made of wood, with rough unplaned planks inside. These are thoroughly wetted before the lacquered article is put in to dry, which occupies a period varying from 6 to 50 hours, according to the time of the year or style of the lacquer. Lacquer will not dry or harden properly in the open air; it absolutely requires a damp closed atmosphere to do so, otherwise it would run and always remain sticky.

The following are mixtures made by the workmen as required:-


A mixture of finely chopped hemp, with rice starch and branch lacquer sufficient to make a thick paste.

Jino - ko (No. 1"). - Powdered burnt clay and branch lacquer, mixed together in the proportion of 1 part of clay to 2 parts of lacquer.

Jino - ko (No. 2). - The same, mixed in the proportion of 10 parts of clay to 13 of lacquer, and a little water.

Jino - ko (No. 3). - The same, mixed in the proportion of 10 parts of clay to 8 parts of lacquer and 2 parts of thin rice starch. This mixture is known in the trade as Han - din - ji (half - step basis).

Jino - ko (No. 4). - The burnt - clay powder mixed with liquid glue only in such proportions as will resemble the consistency of lacquer.

Kiri - Ko

A mixture of Jino - ko and Tono - ko in equal portions with l 1/2 of branch lacquer. This becomes very hard.


A mixture of 2 parts of the burnt clay from Mount Mari to 1 1/2 of branch lacquer, with just sufficient water to mix the clay into a paste.

An inferior class of Sabi is made by putting in less lacquer - as little as 8 parts of lacquer being used to 20 of the clay. Less lacquer cannot be used, as it would not stand polishing after haying been dried.

Mugi - Urushi

Wheat lacquer; being a portion of wheaten flour mixed with branch lacquer to such consistency as may be required. It is used to paste the hempen cloth on to the wood.


A mixture of rice flour with branch lacquer, used for the same purpose as Wheat lacquer. Wheaten flour is the best, but being more difficult to blend with lacquer it is not so much used.

Ka - No - Ji

A mixture of whiting and liquid glue, used for under - coats or cheap articles.

Shibu - Ji

A mixture of lampblack and persimmon juice, used for undercoats in inferior ware.

The following are the modes of applying the lacquer:

(A) Honjt (Real Basis)

The article to be lacquered is first carefully smoothed, and the wood is slightly hollowed away along each joint, so as to form a circular depression. The surface of the whole article is then given a coating of branch lacquer (this is called Ki - ji - gatame - hardening the wooden basis), and the article is set to dry in the damp press, or tnuro, for about 12 hours. The hollowed portions are filled with prepared Kokuso, which is well rubbed in with a spatula made of the wood of the Chamaecyparis obtusa, and the article is enclosed in the drying - press for a period of at least 40 hours. Over the Kokuso a coating of Sabi is applied, and set to dry for 12 hours. The next process is to smooth off with a white whetstone any roughness or inequalities of the Kokuao and Sabi. The article is then given a coating of wheaten lacquer, over which is stretched hempen cloth, great care being taken to spread it smoothly and leave no wrinkles or perceptible joinings, and it is then again enclosed in the drying - press for about 24 hours. After taking the article out of the press, all inequalities in the cloth-which has now under the influence of the lacquer become harder than wood - are smoothed down with a knife or with a plane.