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Echizen lacquered smartphone cases selling well in Western countries

The highest-quality smartphone cases lacquered with the Echizen lacquering technique, a traditional craft technique from Fukui Prefecture, have been selling well in Western countries via a mail order site.

Since August, Principle (Tokyo), a company that operates online stores, has been selling smartphone cases called “Maki-e iPhone Case from Echizen” (photo), which are created through a high-quality traditional Japanese craft technique by Echizen Shikki (based in Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture), through Amazon.com, the world’s largest mail order site, in six countries.

The selection of designs includes 12 types of patterns that symbolize Japanese beauty, such as cherry blossoms, plum trees, paper cranes, and the moon. The high-quality product is finished by sprinkling gold, silver and colored powder onto the motif drawn with lacquer, a technique called “maki-e,” and adding shell inlay, a technique called “raden.” This product can be purchased at Amazon.com in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Spain (approx. 280,000,000 total users) from US$80 (approx. 6,400 yen) per case.

Echizen Shikki says, “We hope that the splendor of high-quality Japanese traditional crafts with excellent designs can be conveyed to people overseas who obtain our smartphone cases, and that the spread of the product leads to the revitalization of our local traditional industry in some way.”

The origin of Echizen lacquerware dates back to the sixth century. It is said that the production of Echizen lacquerware was established with the encouragement of the Emperor at that time when he was deeply impressed by the beautiful luster of black lacquered tableware presented from a lacquer craftsman, whom he had ordered to recoat his old crown. At the end of the Edo period (around the mid-19th century), the maki-e technique was introduced by inviting maki-e artists from Kyoto. Also introduced was a technique called “chinkin” (gold inlaid into incised designs) from Wajima. With these techniques, Echizen lacquerware adopted a gorgeous decorativeness in addition to its original solidness.

Contact : Echizen Shikki Co., Ltd.
Phone or E-mail +81-778-65-1525