Linking the past and future -
the Asagi-wan

While we have records from early Edo period Kyoto describing the use of lacquer bowls called Asagi-wan, not one of these bowls have survived to this day.

In 2017 we were approached by woodworker Naoki Nishimura, and together we began a project to make a modern Asagi-wan. Although the existence of the bowls is mentioned in books of objects, we don't know what they actually looked like so we set about re-imagining the Asagi-wan of today.
Normally, Naoki carves natsume (a style of container for holding matcha powder), which Keikou Nishimura paints black with urushi and so we wanted to use these techniques to create a lacquer bowl that could be used in everyday life in Kyoto. Asagi-wan are made using a technique called nurikomi shitaji. This is the process of applying lacquer with a brush and polishing it down with charcoal several times.

As these designed for everyday life, we wanted to use local wood and make inexpensive, robust Kyoto lacquer bowls. Ryo Ishikawa, son of the late Mitsuharu Ishikawa, who first suggested the idea of making Asagi-wan, helped us to purchase Japanese cypress directly from a local producer. Takuya Tsutsumi of Tsutsumi Asakichi Lacquer Shop, which has been in business for four generations, then provided us with the urushi needed to complete the Asagi-wan.

The result is a light, yet robust bowl with a strong presence, typical of Kyoto lacquer bowls. It is perfectly representative of Kyoto while at the same time being lacquer bowl unlike any other.
This is not our goal however, we have merely taken the first step towards the future. Ultimately, we dream of the day when Asagi bowls are lined up on tables all over Kyoto.


Materials Keihoku Hinoki (Japanese Cyprus)、urushi
Price | Size Large 130/80㎜ ¥18,700 (tax inc.)
Medium 115/73㎜ ¥15,730((tax inc.)
Production Wood shaping Aya Nagai / Kazuhiro Ueda
Lacquering Yusuke Iijima / Kumi Goto
Promoters Koji Ishikawa(Ishikawa Urushi Studio)
Naoki Nishimura(Wood shaper)
Supporting members Keikou NIshimura / Yoko Nishimura(Keikou Nishimura Urushi Studio)
Takuya Tsutsumi(Tsutsumi Asakichi Urushi-ten Co., Ltd.)
Ryo Ishikawa(Ishikawa Urushi Studio)
Orders | Enquiries
Photography Naoki Miyashita

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