Revive “Hidehira-nuri,” crafts created under the order of Oshu-Fujiwara clan, the kings of the Michinoku (Northwest)
In the Heian era, Oshu-Fujiwara clan, the rulers of Dewa and Mutsu regions were extremely influential. In particular, during late Heian period, when Hidehira was the patriarch, current Hiraizumi of Iwate--which was the clan’s base--held a population ranking just below Kyoto (the then capital); Hidehira wielded great power, such as taking Yoshitsune under his wings, a warrior who confronted his big brother, Minamoto-no Yoritomo who aimed to dominate Japan. “Hidehira-nuri” originated from lacquerware created by craftsmen of Kyoto when they were invited by Hidehira to construct Chuson-ji Temple Konjikido Golden Hall.
Tsubaki-mon-urushi-e-wan (lacquer bowl with engraving of camellia), 54,000 yen (tax included, the same hereafter. Diameter 140 mm × height 87 mm. This bowl’s design is faithful to the original Tsubaki-urushi-e-wan, one of the oldest existing Hidehira-wan that is stored in Motsuji Temple.
(Photo: Marusan Shikki, the same hereafter)
A masterpiece created by craftsmen taking time and effort
Hidehira-nuri, made from lacquer and gold that used to be the special products of Hiraizumi area in Iwate principally consists of three nest bowls; on the upper part of the bowl are cloud-shaped design and gold foil, and surrounding them as to decorate are flora and crests representing good fortune, which are unique to Hidehira-nuri.
Hidehira-nuri is made elaborately, roughly taking 15 processes; first they create a base from dried beech or zelkova (some dried for more than ten years), lacquer, polish, paint, and coat with gold foil. A large amount of time and labor, peculiar to Japanese craftsmanship which is sometimes regarded as extreme, is put on each bowl.
Lacquer painted wine glasses Fuji and Akafuji (Mt. Fuji in red), each 10800 yen. Diameter 75 mm × height 210 mm. Mt. Fuji will float on the surface when sake is poured.
While Hidehira-nuri is centered on bowls, “Marusan Shikki” enthusiastically works on making pieces by creating a variety of products such as these wine glasses made by combining lacquer and glass, dishes, and as an unique example, lacquered USB memory.
By being a bit careful in maintenance, lacquerware can be used for a long time while keeping its amazing gloss. How about adding Hidehira-nuri which inherits tradition since Heian era to your everyday dining?