Lacquer mixing bowl
Edo period - 18/19th c.
H: 15”x Diameter: 38 1/4”

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This large wooden bowl is called “kurome bachi” which means “blackened bowl”. It was used to stir the sap extracted from the lac tree, in the early stages of production of lacquer. Because of the value of the material, as the lacquer stratified on the bowl it was eventually scraped away. Today we are left with a beautiful shiny bowl lightly tinted by the sun rays and the gloss of the lacquer it contained. The top half of the bowl is made of joined pieces of wood each with slightly different colors that make it all the more interesting and unique. The inside is blackened and the scraped areas are still visible, as a remainder of hard work and the recognized value and beauty of this material. In the center of the bowl there is a hole with a wooden cap, that was removed to allow the draining of the liquid. A similar bowl was exhibited at the Miho museum near Shigaraki, Japan