The layers of a craftsman’s handwork
Sendai Tsuishu was first produced in the latter half of the Meiji era (late 19th century), long after the popular production of lacquerware during the political ruling period by the Date clan had ended. Despite this, it came to be mass produced, proving very popular as a durable, yet affordable form of lacquerware.
The Sendai Tsuishu is made in nine stages. After hand carving the pattern, the craftsman applies Japanese urushi lacquer, dries, and then polishes it numerous times. These procedures are all done by hand, making for a long process. In the studio, the third generation successor of this art, Kazunori Minami, handles all these processes by himself.
The Tsuishu’s dried condition depends on the temperature and the humidity, yet surprisingly, Mr. Minami says the most productive time is during the rainy season. This is because when it is humid, Japanese urushi lacquer dries faster. Adversely, with dry winter air, the lacquer takes much longer to dry.
To strengthen the material, Mr. Minami polishes the Tsuishu with whetstone and sandpaper after applying the lacquer.
Only after all of these processes are complete does Sendai Tsuishu become the beautiful, yet durable product that it is.
Pictured below is the one-of-a-kind prêt‐à‐porter collection.
Sendai Tsuishu in daily life
Shown below is Sendai Tsuishu in the home in daily life