MEMBER’S 13Maruhiro IshoLacquering

Maruhiro Isho


Mixing Japanese culture with modern colors

A new form of lacquerware that infuses traditional shapes with a contemporary feel

Maruhiro Isho specializes in painting wooden products with synthetic coatings. Their techniques are derived from the traditional lacquering process used in the Echizen region, meaning their processes are also divided into different stages – the base, middle coat and top coats. They use paint to expertly fill in the grooves that have formed in the wood, polishing it after the base coat is applied in order to make sure the final finish looks good. By using the traditional method of lacquering as a base, the end result comes close to the glossy, genuine lacquer finish unique to Echizen. While it is also difficult to paint vessels that are not uniform in size, Maruhiro’s modern techniques mean that they do not need to be polished at the end to make them shiny. This is another innovation they have developed by referencing the lacquering process.

In 2018, Maruhiro Isho started a project called "MARUHIRO SPRAY" to breathe new life into unused lacquerware and wooden vessels. By taking advantage of the variety of colors and expressive power of modern paints, they have transformed traditional lacquerware into a product that is popular with the younger generation.

While new, Maruhiro’s techniques and expertise are based on the accumulation of past generations of knowledge. They hope people can see that their twist on lacquerware, while colorful, stems from traditional Japanese culture.

Painting lacquerware by borrowing techniques from all over

Established in 1983, Maruhiro Isho is a company that is constantly looking to innovate on their techniques. In a world that prizes speed more than ever, many lacquerware products now use synthetic paints in order to save time. As the technology for these coating materials improves every year, orders to Maruhiro have also been steadily increasing. Their strength lies in the fact that they are not bound by tradition, but actively adopt new techniques from other industries, such as from painting automobiles.

The CEO of Maruhiro, Yasuhiro Hirose, used to work in sales in the Echizen region. When he was in his 20’s, he visited many different lacquerware workshops in the area – from woodworking to decoration – thus acquiring a wide range of knowledge on this traditional art. As a result, not only does Hirose have the skills to paint his own products as a craftsman, but he is also able to think of new ideas that are rooted in the tradition, history, and techniques of the Echizen lacquerware production region.

According to Hirose, he believes he was nurtured by the industry, as many craftsmen at each workshop shared much of their knowledge with him – making him the person he is today. With this conviction, he hopes to give back and wholeheartedly supports the young generation, encouraging them to be active in shaping the future of Echizen lacquerware.

Product Spotlight

MS_035 (Kuizome Serving Set)

MS_035 (Kuizome Serving Set)

Part of the MARUHIRO SPRAY project, this is a kuizome serving set that has been painted with bright colours. The kuizome is part of a Japanese ritual in which parents celebrate their newborn’s first meal a hundred days after they were born. This particular serving set is the same shape as those typically used for young girls from the aristocratic families in the past. Using synthetic paints, the traditionally-shaped legs are finished with a bright blue color and a pattern that mimics the texture of coarse stone.

Company Information

  • Maruhiro Isho
  • Maruhiro Isho


    Yasuhiro Hirose


    535 Kitanakachō, Sabae, Fukui 916-1237


    +81 778-65-2209