Tsugaru lacquerware originated in the Edo period (1603-1868), when the lord of the Hirosaki Domain (now part of Aomori Prefecture) invited a lacquer artisan from Wakasa Province (now Fukui Prefecture). In the Meiji period (1868-1912), Tsugaru lacquerware grew into a major local industry after the establishment of a lacquerware factory and a cooperative association. Tsugaru lacquerware gained worldwide recognition after it was exhibited at the Vienna World Exposition in 1873.
Tsugaru lacquerware makes use of Aomori cypress for the wooden base. Lacquer is applied and polished repeatedly over many coats, creating a unique speckled pattern that is characteristic of Tsugaru lacquerware. Today, 4 traditional styles are used: kara-nuri, nanako-nuri, monsha-nuri, and nishiki-nuri.
Tsugaru lacquerware is robust and practical with a refined appearance. Currently, there is a brand of Tsugaru lacquerware called "Royal Collection", made through the collaboration of various companies.
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