Building a culture where people and nature coexist
Naoko Tanabe and team
The Beginning of Crafts Rooted in Daily Life
YUIYU is a brand that produces products that connect traditional crafts and modern life in the Yamanaka Onsen area of Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture.
The brand name "YUIYU" was created by doubling the word "iyu" (to tie together), with the idea of connecting by removing barriers such as genres and positions.
Yamanaka lacquerware, which has been produced in the Yamanaka Onsen area for 450 years, is one of the three major types of lacquerware in Japan.
The wood spinning tradition in particular is said to be the best in Japan, and brings out the beautiful texture of the wood.
Yamanaka lacquerware was first produced in the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600), when a group of woodcutters in search of abundant high-quality wood settled at a village in the upper reaches of Yamanaka Onsen.
At first, these craftsmen earned their living by making bowls, trays, and souvenirs for the therapeutic baths of Yamanaka Onsen, but gradually the technique of rokuroburi (wood spinning on a wheel) took root in the region and developed along with the hot springs.
Later, Yamanaka Lacquerware became well known throughout the country, incorporating decorating techniques from other regions.
Casting the Spotlight on Everyone Involved
The entire production process of Yamanaka Lacquerware is based on a division of labor, with each craftsman working with a high level of skill in their specific area of specialty.
The wood craftsman forges his own planes and blades and uses his own special tools to create the shape of the wood base.
Rokuro-hiki is synonymous with Yamanaka lacquerware, which is famous for its soft curves and rounded objects.
"Tategidori" is a technique unique to Yamanaka Lacquerware in which the wood is ground parallel to its rings, rather than against the direction in which the wood grows, which reduces distortion and allows the grain of the wood to come out beautifully.
It is said that there are 40 to 50 different techniques for decorated woodwork, and the delicate stripe patterns are not only beautiful, but also exquisite to the touch when held in the hand.
In addition to the woodworker, there is also the "kijime-gatame," or hardening of the wood to allow the lacquer to absorb into the grain to prevent distortion of the wood, and the "basemaking," or preparation of the base so that it can be ready for the lacquering process.
The lacquer craftsman repeats the process of applying lacquer repeatedly, scraping and wiping the surface.
Finally, “maki-e” craftsmen draw beautiful patterns and characters using lacquer and colored powder, giving the pieces their final form.
At YUIYU, we would like to shine a light on the people involved in all the processes, and to pass on their skills and passion to the next generation.
A Traditional Craft Brought to Life by a Flower Designer
YUIYU offers products made from a floral designer's point of view, based on the concept of connecting Yamanaka's traditional crafts to modern life.
We have created botanical lacquerware as an attempt to further grow Yamanaka lacquerware, which has been handed down through the tireless efforts of artisans in the midst of magnificent nature.
As a sustainable approach, we have left the grain of the wood in its natural state, to deliver lacquerware with a new shape and new colors learned from nature.
The enjoyment of slowly changing colors as the lacquer ages enriches our hearts and minds.
We hope that you will feel called to pick up a piece of lacquerware and incorporate it into your daily life.