photo Maki-e


Maki-e is a distinctively Japanese Urushi work technique that is said to have developed around 1,200 years ago. It involves using a fine brush to paint a picture with Urushi on the surface of a vessel, and then sprinkling gold powder on the surface before the Urushi dries to create a design. The word maki means to sprinkle and e means picture. There are various styles including togidashi maki-e, hira maki-e, and taka maki-e.


Facts about maki-e

As many as 400 years ago, large amounts of Japanese maki-e were exported to Europe and other destinations, and the Japanese word maki-e is known overseas as well.

Did you know?

Maki-e is a splendid technique of creating designs with gold or silver powder atop a lacquer background, and is used in conjunction with other techniques such as raden (decorative seashell work), gold and silver inlay, and eggshell Urushi.


How to do togidashi maki-e

  1. (1) Paint a design with Urushi
  2. (2) Sprinkle gold (or silver) powder on top of the Urushi
  3. (3) Apply a further coat of Urushi and polish it down with charcoal to expose the powder
  4. (4) Burnish it with powdered deer antler, and it's complete!
  • "What Are Traditional Crafts? -A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying-" Edited by the Japan Kogei Association Eastern Branch. Published by Unsodo / List of works English translation: Kazuko Todate (Art critic / Art historian)


View All works