ほんものにっぽんにのへ

TRAVEL to NINOHE 3

ROUTE & SPOT

Visiting to see Joboji Urushi.

Visiting to see Joboji Urushi.
To experience Urushi handcrafts passed down in the community.

Continuing to make daily tools which are a part of peoples’ lives.

After getting off the train at Ninohe station, going through Nitadori tunnel past the town center and over the mountain, you’ll arrive at the Joboji area which has produced one of the rarest domestic urushi (lacquer) since ancient times. It is also the place where people collect urushi sap; this skill required to produce beautiful daily tools is handed down among the people and well established.

Records on Joboji Urushi trace back to excavations of Jomon ruins. There had already been various types of lacquered daily tools. During the Heian period, Oyama Goki which is regarded as the origin of the current Joboji Urushi paint was created. Monks at the ancient temple of Tendaiji had made a practical nested set of three dishes, including: a rice bowl, a soup bowl and a plate for daily meals.

If you visit the Joboji Museum of History and Folklore, you can trace back the life and history of the area where Joboji Urushi was handed down in the changing times.

If you’d like to see the works by lacquer painters that are still inherited to this day and have the chance to hold Joboji Urushi paint in your hands, please visit “Tekiseisha.” You can discover the charms of Joboji Urushi paint and the designs that pursue the beauty of daily use. Not only will you see the production of lacquerware, but you will also learn about Joboji where the lacquer is produced.

You can go farther into the lacquer forest where you will find many lacquer trees grown. Approximately 4,000 trees are planted there, and on sunny days during the season you can see urushi tappers devoted to the work of collecting sap. (In order to prevent lacquer poisoning, please refrain from approaching too closely. Those with sensitive skin must take extra precaution to not touch the lacquer trees or leaves.)

The longer you continue your trip, the more you get drawn into the depth of Joboji Urushi’s real culture. On your way back to the town center, it’s also recommended to visit Potora Garden where you can find textiles dyed with lacquer.

Photo:Sachie Abiko,tarakusa

List of spots introduced in “#3 Visiting to see Joboji Urushi.”

This is a museum that exhibits documents related to Joboji Urushi which is designated as a nationally important cultural property. You can learn about the life with lacquer that has been cultivated in this region, its history and culture. Many tools for urushi tapping including the oyama goki which was once used by the monks of Tendai-ji Temple are displayed here.
address : 35 ,Onyamakubo, Joboji, Ninohe-shi, Iwate Prefecture
tel : 0195-38-3464

The showroom and workshop where they display and sell Joboji Urushi paint, produced with lacquer from Joboji. Many kinds of tableware and sake cups for daily use are lined up. You can deepen your knowledge on Joboji Urushi paint by learning about this region’s lacquer history and its current situation, as well as the process from sap collection to the application of lacquer. Workshops and events are hosted regularly.
address : 23-6 ,Onyamanakamaeta , Joboji, Ninohe-shi, Iwate Prefecture
tel : 0195-38-2511

The lacquer forest

The lacquer forest is located in the center of the Joboji area, and urushi tappers continue to work here. The lacquer produced from this region is recognized and highly valued for its softness, easy spread, coloring, etc. It has even been used to repair World Heritage Sites boasted by Japan, such as Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Futarasan Shrine.
address : 48-8, Myojinsawa, Joboji, Ninohe-shi, Iwate Prefecture

Potora Garden

This is a workshop and social welfare center that makes crafts from fabrics dyed with lacquer, as well as accessories made with the resin from crushed lacquer wood and so on. All of the products are made with leftover wood after the sap for Joboji Urushi paint has been taken out. They are unique crafts that are only available where lacquer trees grow. The production of the crafts can also be observed.
address : 60-1, Okino, Nitadori, Ninohe-shi, Iwate Prefecture
tel : 0195-26-2363