Kiji-shi(Wood Substrate Crafter)

 What kind of work?

Determines properties of wood materials, creates lacquerware in various styles.

Kiji-shi takes a role of wood crafting at the beginning stage of lacquerware fabrication process run under division of labor system. They create wood substrates in various types of styles such as bowls and crocks in circular shape, tiered food boxes, tea utensil, and furniture. The materials are Tochi, Hoh, cypress, and Sawara. The craftsmen need to determine properties such as hardness, vein, and color of each of those woods, and to perform drying and grinding accordingly. Techniques polished up for a long time takes an important role there. Kiji-shi also values their tools such as planes very much. Some of them make their tools by themselves, and it is said three years is required to master. Their devotion to all of tools, materials, and techniques, helps Nu-shi at the next process performs its techniques easier.

 Desired characteristics

Polishing techniques while thinking of materials and people. Fabrication of wood substrates relys on relationship of trust.

As determining virgin wood is an important element, the job may be appropriate for those who are familiar with wood. Another important aspect required for Kiji-shi is to develop relationship not only with users but also other craftsmen such as Nu-shi, Makie-shi, and Chinkin-shi. Considerations of how to make the products easier for use, in what way to help Nu-shi perform its job easier, are needed when fabricating wood substrates. Also, the process of lacquerware fabrication under friendly competition with other craftsmen involves another fun of being fascinated by unexpected styles of them. The job of Kiji-shi is fully packed with techniques, colleagues, and attractiveness of wood.

 The Path to Becoming a Kiji-shi

Learning at art-related school. Find employment in lacquerware origins.

There are some schools where people can learn basics of lacquerware making, such as a training center in Ishikawa Prefecture famous for Yamanaka Lacquerware, art-related schools located from Okinawa to Iwate. Finding employment or being apprentice to a Kiji-shi is also another way to get the first step. Persistence is an important element through the ten years that is said required as minimum to be full-fledged.

Products Furniture,Tableware,Accessories,Bowl,dish,Tray,Boxes,Saucer,Tea ceremony utensils,Flower vases
Qualification Lacquerware production certified technician
Related craftsmen Togi-shi(Lapping Crafter) Chinkin-shi (Sunken Gold Crafter) Makie-shi (Gold or Silver Lacquering Crafter) Roiro-shi (Polishing Crafter) Nu-shi(Coating Crafter)