Combining metallic texture with traditional lacquering
Kobayashi Buddhist Altar
- Niigata / Shirone Buddhist altar
- Kiyonori Kobayashi
The challenge of the fourth generation owner, with 115 years of history
Born in Niigata in 1968.
I began to work as a craftsman at the age of eighteen.
Currently, I am following my father's trace and working as a fourth generation, producing and repairing altars.
Also, I am also focusing on new product development using lacquer technology.
I am also the only lore of the Kinzuri technique invented by my father.
The "Kinzuri technique" is a technique that emphasizes wood grain with gold foil, while lacquering wood surface by rubbing gold foils into wood grain.
Because it uses a lot of gold foils, it will be a gorgeous and elegant finish.
The Buddhist altar using the "Kinzuri technique" was exhibited at the Japan International Expo (Aichi Expo 2005) and I was able to receive high praise from people all over the world.
Metallic texture and lacquer
My father taught me not only the actual skills of lacquering, but also the mindsets required to be a fine craftsman.
Out of all, what he emphasized the most was the enthusiasm toward challenge, not to get stuck with an old-tradition but to always evolve and adapt to the generation.
With such teaching in my mind, I have developed a new product line of sake cups.
The products leave traditional features and forms of lacquer, but with new texture: metallic surface covered with gold.
This design is an absolute combination of tradition and innovation, bringing things that usually do not coexist well.
We had made several attempts to get here, but we are proud to be able to present this new line of Sake cups.
Inherit technology to the future generations
Since the Edo period, the people who were part of the lacquer industry had tight bonds and they often held gatherings where they teach skills and thoughts to the young while exchanging information with each other.
However, such horizontal connections of craftsmen have vanished in present Japan, not only in the lacquer industry, but also in all the other traditional hand-crafts.
Therefore, we stood up as "Lacquer Craftsmen KIYO", and started full-fledged successor training in order to teach important skills and techniques to the younger craftsmen.
To not let the craftsman spirit inherited for centuries at this specific place to cease, we support each other to further flourish and to build a bridge to the next generations.