Mokushikko TOKESHI

木漆工とけし

Lacquerware by Mokushikko TOKESHI

Mokushikko TOKESHI is owned and operated by lacquerware artisans TOKESHI Hiroyuki and Ai. Located in Okinawa, they are known for their everyday dishware that retains a uniquely beautiful matte finish that prevents and hides damage from daily use.

The making of lacquerware by Mokushikko TOKESHI

Tokeshi designs and creates products from the heart, remaining faithful to techniques that have been passed on in Wajima for generations. Even the lathe used was made 50 years ago in Wajima. Tokeshi’s commitment to tradition is also reflected in the materials used to create the products. Wood is sourced from indigenous Okinawan trees and the lacquer is created an age-old way by mixing urushi with sand to avoid wear over time.

The making of lacquerware by Mokushikko TOKESHI

History

A brand of two halves, Japanese lacquerware company, Tokeshi, was founded by Tokeshi Hiroyuki and Ai, both born in Japan’s subtropical Okinawa islands. Both, however, trained separately in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture. One trained as a woodworking craftsman, the other as a lacquerer, using urushi (Japanese lacquer). After seven years of training, both returned to Okinawa to establish their workshop together.

Okinawa islands

Okinawa is the only prefecture in Japan whose entire area has a subtropical climate. The prefecture consists of over 160 small and large islands stretching between Kyushu and Taiwan. The Tokeshi Hiroyuki and Ai are Okinawa natives who studied laquerware in Ishikawa and now practice their craft in Okinawa. However, the Okinawa islands also have a history of laquerware production dating back to the 14th to 15th century. Known as Ryukyu lacquerware it is characterized by vivid colours, often contrasting red and blacks, and use of chinpin (powdered gold) and raden (mother-of-pearl), inlaid in lacquerware, creating beautiful patterns. 

Okinawa Map

About the product

Japanese lacquer urushi has a soft and light texture that can be used for any occasion. Though it is not the easiest material to work with, the wood harvested from the trees in Okinawa Prefecture adds to the authenticity of the brand, helping to create one-of-a-kind pieces, with no two items ever being completely the same.