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

This video called “Okinawa: Meet Ryukyu lacquer ware 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 art museum, the only museum specializing in lacquer ware in Okinawa.

The museum is about 40 minutes from Naha airport by car.
This video features the traditional Ryukyu lacquer ware and its history (1:57).
Let’s see how wonderful the Urasoe city art museum, with its 1500 traditional art works, including Ryukyu lacquer ware, is.

What Is Ryukyu Lacquer Ware? Its History, Origin, and Characteristics!

Ryukyu lacquer ware has developed in tandem with the culture of the Ryukyu Dynasty (1429 to 1879).
The unique techniques for Ryukyu lacquer ware were introduced into the Ryukyu Dynasty during the 14th and 15th century when trade between the Ryukyu Dynasty and China was active.
Ryukyu lacquer ware was made from Erythrina variegate, the prefectural flower of Okinawa. The unique patterning technique, called “Tsuikin mochi,” is used to spread materials into a thin slice.

There are various types of Ryukyu lacquer wares such as Suzuri-bako, a tea cup holder, cup, serving plate, tray, 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 lacquer ware as well.
The Ryukyu lacquerware, made by the master Ryukyu lacquerware artisans, in the shape of bitter melons and hibiscus, are great souvenirs of Okinawa.

These Ryukyu lacquer wares are available in “Ryukyu sikki Itoman” or “Kakuman sikki” 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 Lacquer Ware of the Urasoe City Art Museum

About 60 craft works of Ryukyu lacquer wares are displayed at the Urasoe city art museum 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 Shuri jo 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.

Try Making Ryukyu Lacquer Ware!

If you are interested in Okinawa’s traditional craftworks or culture such as Ryukyu lacquer ware, we recommend getting a catalogue of this museum.
Also some experience-type events such as the “Magical museum” or the “Miniature life museum” are held in the Urasoe city art museum

There's the “Regular showroom,” “Main exhibit,” “Library,” “Laboratory room,” and “Museum shop,” in this museum. Also you can eat a lunch at the café “Hana Urushi” in this museum while looking at the art work.

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 Art Museum

Okinawa is one of most popular places for tourist. <
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 art museum ◆
【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 art museum

【Tripadvisor】Urasoe city art museum

Written By
Sep. 15, 2020
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
Ryukyu Lacquer Ware: Beautiful Traditional Craftworks, Made Through a Method Unique to Okinawa. Enjoy the Beauty of Ryukyu Lacquer Ware at the Urasoe City Museum of Art!
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