Chohachi, a commoner in the town of Kakunodate, started Kakunodate-Shunkei about 200 years ago. Therefore, it is also sometimes called “Chohachi lacquerware.” After Chohachi, the families of Sato, Watanabe, Honjo, Masaki, Kobayashi, and Owada, among others, also practiced the art, attaining a considerable level of production in the Meiji period. The Kakunodate-Shunkei gradually gave way to full coating lacquerware, declining in the Taisho period. However, the tradition was revived by Hirase Sadakichi through innovative collaboration with local painters such as Fukuda Toyoshiro, Kusanagi Koso, Terasawa Kotaro, and Tateoka Ritsuzan, as well as with cherry bark craftsmen such as Ono Tozo. However, the sudden death of Sadakichi in his 30s in 1927 delivered the final blow to the tradition. Thus, Kakunodate-Shunkei craftsmen no longer exist. Using the stumps of the Hiba tree, Kakunodate-Shunkei produced daily commodities such as small dining tables and dish trays.

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