About Tsutsumi Asakichi Urushi

Japanese culture and urushi - 
The roots of Tsutsumi Asakichi Urushi Store

Urushi has been a part of Japanese life since the Jomon period, some 10,000 years ago. Since then, the urushi culture was passed down through the ages, reaching its peak in the Edo period (1603~1867). From the middle of the Edo period, imported urushi from Burma and other countries began to enter the country through the port of Nagasaki, and the total amount of urushi used, domestically produced and imported, came to approximately 2,000 tonnes per year. However, in the Taisho era (1912-1926), the production of domestic urushi declined sharply. Furnishings and armor for the feudal lords became unnecessary, and the policy of encouraging urushi production was abolished. At the same time, lacquerware became popular in the town as a typical Japanese craft.

Tsutsumi Asakichi Shoten founded

1909 (Meiji 42)
The first Tsutsumi Asakichi became independent and founded Tsutsumi Asakichi Shoten
refining lacquer by hand and machine, sold filter paper, and developed foil-pressed urushi.

Before the war

In the early Showa period, domestic urushi production declined to only 50 tons per year
Imports increased, and the total amount of urushi used exceeded 2000 tons in Showa 11


Import volume dropped drastically due to war
Urushi is used for military use as anti-rust paint, and refining of urushi is restricted by the country, and Tsutsumi Asakichi Shoten is forced to close


Demand for lacquerware also increased along with high economic growth, and imported urushi was used for most of it
1950 (Showa 25) 2nd generation Tsutsumi Shigeru starts work

1975(Showa 50)
The amount of lacquer imported is 500 tons per year
1983(Showa 58)
Tsutsumi Asakichi Urushi Co., Ltd. was established
Development of synthetic paint
1950(Showa 25)
Paint manufacturers began selling cashew resin paint called synthetic lacquer, and it spread rapidly. Meanwhile, although domestic lacquer temporarily increased due to the suspension of raw lacquer imports from China, it declined again due to the spread of synthetic paint.
1976(Showa 51)
Tsutsumi Takashi, the 3rd generation, starts work
Expand your business by increasing the number of items handled according to your needs
Expanding foil-stamped lacquer all over the country
After the burst of the bubble
1999(Heisei 11)
Korin Lacquer & Kai Lacquer Development
2003(Heisei 15)
Korin, a Japanese lacquer, is used to restore a national treasure and important cultural property
2007(Heisei 19)
Full use of domestic urushi for Nikko Toshogu has been decided
Tsutsumi Asakichi Urushi's domestic urushi refining volume is domestic urushi production
It will account for 65 to 70%
2000(Heisei 12)
Similar products of synthetic paint have increased, and sales of foil stamping lacquer have declined
2004(Heisei 16)
4th generation Takuya Tsutsumi joined the company
The import volume of urushi fell to 100 tons, and the industry was sluggish

Others, glass urushi, qualia coating, color clear urushi,
Development of products such as abrasives for Sanwa lacquerware and Asakichi whetstones

A new step forward

Pursuing a stable supply of lacquer and quality. Then to activities that convey the appeal of lacquer

I began to feel the decline of the lacquer industry firsthand, and in order to preserve the culture of lacquer and lacquer,
Start activities to convey the unique appeal of lacquer, which is a natural material

2015(Heisei 27)
The Agency for Cultural Affairs restores 100% domestically produced national treasures and important cultural properties
Announced a notification stating that it is desirable to use lacquer from
2017(Heisei 29)
“Beyond Tradition” project launched
2016(Heisei 28)
“Urushi no Ippo” project started
2019(Reiwa 1)
“Craft Forest”, a base for sustainable manufacturing
Project launch

Takuya Tsutsumi, the fourth generation, established the General Incorporated Association Perspective as a co-representative. Cooperate with our company,
Aim for recycling-oriented manufacturing that enriches the region, such as growing lacquer trees and trees used as craft materials


2020 (Reiwa 2)
The spread of the novel coronavirus infection
As a product to enhance time spent at home, we developed the Kintsugi Coffret,
fuki-urushi kits and collaboration products with other industries

April 2022(Reiwa 4)
WOOD SURFBOARD workshop completed in Keihoku
The “Urushi Surf Project” connecting mountains, towns, and the sea has started
2016(Heisei 28)
“Urushi no Ippo” project started