Urushi(Japanese lacquer) Art

Ariko Horiuchi (Lacquer artist - Halico)

1976 Born In Asahikawa

1998 Graduated from Akita Municipal Junior College of Arts and Crafts

2000 Trained at Iwate Ashiro-cho Shikki (Lacquer products) Center.

Presently a member of “Micklel” wood art and craft group in Asahikawa.

What is Urushi?

Urushi is tree sap from the Lacquer tree found in East Asia. Since the Jyomon Era (around 100 B.C.), Japanese people have collected Urushi tree sap to use as glue and paint in everyday life. Urushi work started disappearing from Japan as a result of the introduction of plastics which were cheaper and could be manufactured faster. Urushi however, is an attractive natural material, much more durable than synthetically produced substitutes, and having a beautiful natural lustre.

Ariko Horiuchi is the one of very few Japanese lacquer artist in Hokkaido. Her work is intended for everyday use and to fit a modern life style and has been featured in local and nation-wide magazines and newspapers as well as being displayed at countless exhibitions throughout Japan.

The Materials Used

Wood:   Japanese Horse Chestnut (Aesculus turbinate) and Kalopanax pictus(Castor aralia). Shaped in Asahikawa and Iwate-prefecture.

Urushi:        Iwate-prefecture Jyohouji made


After painting the first coat with a brush, the items are dried in a large wooden box for 8 hours at 20-25℃ and 60-70% humidity. They are then sanded using #400 grain sand paper in preparation for the second coat. Items are painted and sanded in this way up to 6 or 7 times to make them exceptionally durable.

For more information, please contact
Asahikawa Tourism
tel / fax: 0166-73-5345

email: info@asahikawa-tourism.com

Also at
Asahikawa Tourism

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Biei Wall Calendars