Lacquer ware that shines like star filled sky ”Lacquer craftwork artist, Yoshiaki Taguchi”

Lacquer ware that shines like star filled sky
”Lacquer craftwork artist, Yoshiaki Taguchi”

Shells shine like a rainbow.

When Yoshiaki Taguchi is introduced, he is frequently introduced as ”Lacquer craftwork artist”. What does one imagine from the word ”lacquer”. A smooth and shiny lacquer painted bowl. Or maybe lacquer boxes painted red. However, Taguchi’s works are far from these images, because the works shine in rainbow colors.

The reason for that is ”raden”. ”Raden” is the technique of making mother-of-pearl inlays. Because of ”raden” decorations his works shine in rainbow colors.

Expressing the universe.

Nakata looked at the works very keenly. There are pieces that are relatively small like the incense box. The fine designs are drawn by ”raden”, and tiny pieces of mother-of-pearls are pasted one by one.
”The colors of the mother-of-pearls differ depending on the angle they are seen from. I must always have that in mind. I have to bring the prettiest side to the front.”
If such detail are not taken into consideration, this beauty cannot be expressed.
”Do you have a favorite motif?” asked Nakata, and Taguchi replied, ”May be something cosmic.” The blue ”raden” decorated incense box that shone beautifully, was the earth. The tray that holds it is the universe. The ”makie” paintings drawn shone like scattered stars.

Come to know the tradition through hands on experience.

Taguchi’s father, Yoshikuni Taguchi, is certified as Important Intangible Cultural Property holder. Taguchi had learned ”makie” from his father, a Human National Treasure. Taguchi’s works are like the starry sky, and they are made by pasting mother-of-pearls on lacquer, and applying ”makie”.

Nakata was invited to have a try at the ”makie” process, but he was at a loss before the array of materials. ”How should I do it…..,” he pondered. ”You are free to do whatever you like. It’s not a matter of good or bad. Just have a go, then you can appreciate it. Then if you go further and actually use it, then you’ll appreciate the tradition,” Taguchi gave these encouraging words.


Lacquer craftwork artist Yoshiaki Taguchi
Ina, Kitaadachi-gun, Saitama Prefecture