Oldest Existing Wajima-nuri Lacquerware Partly Damaged by Earthquake

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A man looks at a shrine double door, the oldest known Wajima-nuri lacquerware, at a warehouse in Juzo Shrine in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Tuesday.

The oldest existing Wajima-nuri lacquerware — a shrine double door in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture — was partly damaged by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake, it has been learned.

A small protrusion on the double door kept at Juzo Shrine was found broken, though it escaped any major damage on its lacquered surface.

According to the shrine, the pair of doors for its honden main shrine was daubed with a lacquer mixture of Wajima-nuri, the famous traditional craft of Wajima, in 1524. Regularly re-daubed with lacquer since then, the doors also survived a large fire in 1910 that burned down the main shrine. The double door is designated by the city of Wajima as a tangible cultural property.

Shrine officials visiting the site about a week after the quake found the doors on the ground of the haiden oratory where it was installed, with the protrusion fixing them to a wooden frame for display broken. They plan to repair the doors after assessing the damage, which are now kept in the shrine’s warehouse.