Support offered to lacquerware makers

Efforts are underway to help Ishikawa Prefecture's lacquerware makers following the New Year's Day earthquake.

An industry association held an online meeting on Wednesday to discuss ways of providing support.

"I think reconstruction will take several years," says Tsuchida Sunao, the head of the Japan Urushi Ware Federation of Cooperatives. "In the meantime, local lacquerware industries across Japan should provide support."

Lacquerware made in the city of Wajima is designated as an important intangible cultural asset with a history of over 600 years.

Producing the craft items takes about 120 steps and involves many skilled artisans.

Most lacquerware studios and stores in Ishikawa Prefecture don't know when they can resume operations.
An industry official says he can't stand by and let Wajima's heritage die out.