Noshiro Shunkei Lacquer

Noshiro Shunkei lacquer was first created in–1661–1681. A lacquer artisan from the Ishioka family’s Echigoya Shoukuro reportedly learned Hida Shunkei’s techniques from his master Yamauchi Sankuro and developed them to create an original Shunkei lacquer. Another report states that Noshiro Shunkei was brought to Akita by an Awano Shukei lacquer craftsman from the Hitachi region in 1602 when Akita’s Satake clan relocated from there. In the middle of the Edo period, Noshiro Shunkei lacquer gained a reputation under Akita’s feudal domain protection and encouragement. The third generation of the Ishioka family, Shoukuro (who later changed his name to Shoujyurou), was given the right to bear a surname and to wear a sword. The successors carried on with the name Shoujyurou, and the techniques have been passed down secretly. Therefore, lacquerware is known as a quality product that cannot be mass-produced.
Shunkei lacquer is covered with a clear lacquer on top of yellow or red-colored woods, so a beautiful woody texture can be seen through. Noshiro Shunkei lacquer especially shows the surface of cypress. The glossy light-yellow color tinged with gold is one of its characteristics, and is called Ki-Shunkei (ki meaning yellow) as opposed to Hida’s Kou-Shunkei (kou meaning red).