Shikki

Lacquer finishing

The term "shikki" (漆器) traditionally refers to japanned objects: wooden objects or paper, lacquered with a type of sap called urushi (漆, from which the Chinese character in the name is derived).
Nowadays, the term is used to address a wide range of goods made in wood or metal, lacquered using either urushi or other vegetable resins.

The word nurimono (塗り物 or in hiragana, ぬりもの - lit. "coated object") is also used.

Japanese lacquer ware shikki on KiGinKin

Overview

Traditionally speaking, there is an astonishingly large number of techniques used to make shikki goods, including negoronuri and chinkin. The following list only includes a few common techniques; please visit this page (in Japanese) to see examples for each of the 155 techniques listed.

aogaizaiku (青貝細工), when seashell is applied to the object before finishing it.
negoronuri (根来塗), where a layer of red color is applied over the black layer, and then scratches are made to partially reveal the underlying black layer.
chinkin (沈金), featured in the video below, in which gold powder is shoved into lines previously carved into the object.
aizukinji (会津金地) and keshikinji (消金地), where gold powder is sprinkled over the object shortly before the first layer of lacquer dries, followed by a second layer of lacquer.

Aogaizaiku

Negoronuri

Aizukinji

Origin

Basic lacquering techniques were introduced from China before 7000 BC. The oldest artifacts were unearthed in the northern island of Hokkaido.

Japanese lacquer ware shikki on KiGinKin - Artisan applying urushi sap

Authenticity