Urushi Extraordinaire:
Lacquer Masterpieces from the Tokugawa Art Museum Collection

July 18, 2020 to September 13, 2020

The lacquer tree of the anacardiaceae family is native to the regions eastward of West Asia. The sap from this tree was applied to various utensils, giving them exceptional moisture repellant and antiseptic qualities as well as high resistance to acids and alkalis. Not only does lacquer create a lustrous surface, it also is a strong adhesive and was used in East Asia in the production of various crafts, building materials, and other uses since ancient times.

This exhibition traces the beauty and charm of lacquer craft, which we use less and less often in our modern daily lives, first through the Tokugawa Art Museum’s world-famous collection of karamono lacquerwares from China, as well as the sprinkled gold and silver maki-e designs of Japanese lacquer that came to be known as “japanning,” and various items from Joseon-dynasty Korea and the Ryūkyū Islands of Okinawa.




The Tokugawa Art Museum

The Tokugawa Art Museum

General Information

1017 Tokugawa-cho Higashi-ku,
Nagoya-shi, Aichi 461-0023
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