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PR Video of Traditional Ryukyu Lacquerware Owned by the Urasoe City Museum of Art

This video called “Okinawa: Meet Ryukyu lacquerware and art (琉球漆芸とアートに出会う沖縄 Narration+Subtitle Ver.)” produced by the Urasoe city office is to promote the Urasoe City Museum of Art, the only museum specializing in lacquerware in Okinawa.

The museum is about 40 minutes from Naha airport by car.
This video features the traditional Ryukyu lacquerware (琉球漆器, Ryukyu Shikki) and its history (1:57).
Let's see how wonderful the Urasoe City Museum of Art, with its 1500 traditional works of art, including Ryukyu lacquerware, actually is.

What Is Ryukyu Lacquerware? Its History, Origin, and Characteristics!

Ryukyu lacquerware has developed in tandem with the culture of the Ryukyu Dynasty (1429 to 1879).
The unique techniques for Ryukyu lacquerware were introduced into the Ryukyu Dynasty during the 14th and 15th century when trade between the Ryukyu Dynasty and China was active.
Ryukyu lacquerware was made from tiger's claw (Erythrina variegata), the prefectural flower of Okinawa.
The unique patterning technique, called "Tsuikin," is used to thinly spread the "tsuikin mochi" (a mixture of lacquer and colored ink).

There are various types of Ryukyu lacquerware, such as Suzuri-bako, tea cup holders, cups, serving plates, trays, tiered food boxes, and wooden containers using the unique shell inlay and sunken gold techniques.
Some studios and long established stores accept orders to repair broken lacquerware as well.
Ryukyu lacquerware, made by the master Ryukyu lacquerware artisans, in the shape of bitter melons and hibiscus, are great souvenirs of Okinawa.

These Ryukyu lacquerwares are available in "Ryukyu sikki Itoman" or "Kakuman shikki" on Kokusai-dori (国際通り: International Street).
These products can be also bought at online stores, such as Rakuten or Amazon, at a cost of several thousand yen (several tens of dollars).

The Ryukyu Lacquerware of the Urasoe City Museum of Art

About 60 craft works of Ryukyu lacquerwares are displayed at the Urasoe City Museum of Art regularly. These include items such as lacquer tea boxes (白檀塗楼閣山水箔絵湯庫) (video: 2:31) , Black lacquer trays (黒漆雲龍螺鈿盆) (video: 2:48), traditional lacquer sake barrels (朱漆牡丹巴紋七宝繋沈金足付盆) (video: 3:03), lacquer food boxes (潤塗花鳥箔絵密陀絵丸形食籠) (video: 3:18) a black lacquer album cover (黒漆米軍戦車堆錦アルバム表紙) (video: 3:35), and more.

Some of them were used for ceremonies at Shurijo Castle. The Ryukyu Folding Screen and The Eight Views of Ryukyu made by Hokusai Katushika in 1832 are also kept in this museum. Other art exhibitions or photo exhibitions are held in the main exhibition hall.

Make Your Own Ryukyu Lacquerware!

If you're interested in traditional Okinawan crafts and/or culture, such as Ryukyu lacquerware, we recommend getting a catalogue of this museum.
There are also some experience-based events held at the Urasoe City Museum of Art, such as "Magical museum" or the "Miniature Life Museum."

At the museum, you'll find the Regular showroom, Main exhibit, Library, Laboratory room, and museum shop.
You can also enjoy lunch at the café "Hana Urushi" while appreciating the works at the museum.

They also offer classes throughout the year, so if you're interested in Ryukyu lacquerware after watching this video, be sure to give it a try.

Summary of the Urasoe City Museum of Art

Okinawa is one of most popular places for tourists.
There are many other tourist spots around this city museum, such as the "Urasoe Castle Ruins," "Iso Castle Ruins," "Minatogawa Foreign Settlement," "Iso Castle Ruins observation deck," "Minatogawa Stateside Town," "Urasoe Sports Park," "Urasoe yodore," and the "Maeda Highlands."

If you learn more about the traditional Okinawan crafts introduced in the video, you'll be able to enjoy your visit to Okinawa even more.
As you can tell from the video, the Urasoe Art Museum in Okinawa has a beautiful exterior and garden.
If you visit Okinawa, we highly recommend checking out this museum.

◆Information of Urasoe City Museum of Art ◆
【Address】1-9-2 Urasoe-shi Okinawata
【Access】40 minutes by car from Naha Airport

【Admission fee】Adults : 200 yen, University students : 130 yen, Senior citizens (65 years+) : 160 yen, high school students and younger : Free (As of December, 2019)
Additional admission fees may be required depending on events (advance tickets are available)
【Hours】9:30 to 17:00
【Parking】Available (Free)
【Telephone No.】098-879-3219

【Official Website】Urasoe City Museum of Art

【Tripadvisor】Urasoe City Museum of Art

Written By
Last Updated : Apr. 29, 2022
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
Ryukyu Shikki - Traditional Lacquerware Unique to Okinawa. Discover the Beauty of Ryukyuan Crafts at the Urasoe Art Museum
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