Tsuikin technique for Ryukyu lacquerware unveiled

A saddle decorated with tsuikin technique lacquer ornaments.

Dozens of Ryukyu lacquer ware items produced in an ancient Tsuikin style are being unveiled to the public tomorrow at a month-long Tsuikin Exhibition at the Urasoe City Museum.

“Tsuikin” is one of the decoration techniques in Ryukyu lacquerware. It is already introduced to Ming’s technical document written at the beginning of the 17th century, and had spread to items taken from the Ryukyu Kingdom  to Ming in the former stage. Furthermore, it is known that an analogous art exists also in the Kingdom of Thailand.

The tsuikin method of appliqué is unique to Okinawa but was inspired by the Chinese lacquer technique called tsuishu in Japanese. Lacquer is mixed with pigments and rolled out into a thin sheet. The sheet is then cut with a small knife and the decoration is applied to the main lacquer ware piece. Because it is solidly made and can be produced in large quantities, tsuikin is currently the most popular technique in Okinawan lacquerware.

At this exhibition, the noted articles of “Tsuikin” both of inside and outside of Okinawa will be brought together in a hall, and will be exhibited. Spectators will get to know the work and the beauty of “Tsuikin”, and this show becomes a cause, which renews recognition to the technique of the tradition of Okinawa.   The history of Tsuikin, as well as similar techniques from China and southeast Asia will also be presented.

The Tsuikin Exhibition opens at 9:30 a.m. Friday and runs through Sunday, March 17th.  The daily operating hours for the museum exhibition is 9:30 a.m. ~ 5 p.m., except Fridays, when the museum stays open until 7 pm.  General admission is ¥600 for adults, ¥500 for college age students, and free to high school and younger visitors.

17:13 28 Feb , 2024