September 5, 2021 Translated by Kelly Yeunh
Mr. Kohei Kirimoto is an expert in his craft from Wajima Kirimoto, a brand of Wajima lacquerware that has persisted for generations, offering the best of the craft. An urushi (Japanese lacquer) artist of high esteem and inimitable skill in his own right, we had the pleasure to not only learn about Kintsugi from him, but to collaborate with him on products that will release soon.
What is Kintsugi?When porcelain is cracked or chipped, the damage is spliced with urushi and coated over with gold. This technique of repair is “Kintsugi”.
When things break and feelings of loneliness and despair can be overwhelming, Kintsugi shows that healing is possible, putting a positive spin on brokenness.
Giving New Life
Urushi has the power to revive the material and also has an antibacterial effect. According to lacquerware creators, various crafts were borne in order to maximize the potential of urushi and its effect on the five senses.
Like touching water, because the moisture content is close to that of skin.
There’s invigoration when urushi is touched.
Junichiro Tanizaki wrote in his essay “In Praise of Shadows”: “There is always jet-black darkness” and “The beauty of urushi cannot be considered unless darkness is taken into account.” Urushi is a culture that lives in the sun, in moonlight, in candlelight, in dim lighting. Depending on the light source, various shades of black reveal themselves upon reflecting on the same “SHIKKOKU”(漆黒 similar to gloss black). It can be said that urushi shows light.
The texture of urushi enhances the taste of food.
Through the use of lacquerware and chopsticks, there is a sensation almost like that of a kiss.
The appetizing scent of rice when served in lacquerware.
The scent cannot be replicated by urushi alone, but as a complement to a protagonist dish being served.
Wood, cloth, darkness, fire, and rice all come to life.
Those who have yet to hear the sound of urushi—
It is a gentle sound when lacquerware is knocks together.
It is a gentle sound when being washed and stacked.
The sound muffles even as it collides with glass.
Let us share this beautiful sound that was played at Kohei Kirimoto’s Atelier. "Kintsugi" by Meitei.