Studio Tour & Our History

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It is possible to see work in progress any time.

The workshops at the back of the store are where several of our skilled staff are working on pieces of true lacquerware. Seeing something of how lacquerware is actually made is sure to help you choose a piece to suit your needs.
Please note that the workshop is closed for lunch between 12:30 and 1:30 pm as well as on Saturdays and Sundays, and during the New Year holidays.

Our History

It was 1858 when Chuzaemon Shioyasu founded an independent lacquerware business. It seems that he specialised in just one process of lacquerware production and worked under contract. Then in 1904 Masanojo Shioyasu, the third generation of the family in the business, expanded the firm by setting up the enterprise as a lacquerware producer, or Nushiya dealing with all stages of production and sales. Masanojo found that there was an emerging market in the Chugoku region in the western part of Japan, because the railway was to be extended to Tottori prefecture, situated on the Japan Sea coast northwest of Kyoto. This remains one of our stronger markets and as proof of this heritage we still have a book of business dealings bearing Masanojo’s name. We have in effect maintained a style of marketing Wajima lacquerware inherited from those early days.

From the 1920s and then on into the period of recovery after World War Two, it was the fourth generation of the family, Seiji Shioyasu who opened what was the first store of its kind in Wajima selling the local lacquerware, establishing what became our current store and workshop, Shioyasu Shikki Kobo.

With this kind of history behind us, we feel duty bound to try and preserve the techniques of the past and to be as ambitious as our forebears in developing new markets and products, while still endeavouring to keep some of the best items from the past on our books.