top of page



Black lacquering of the Matsumoto Castle 

Lacquering by Ikariya Lacquerware Shop, which preserves national important cultural properties. The re-lacquering of the outer walls of the Matsumoto Castle began, when the predecessor before last joined the large-scale repair project as a lacquer artisan in the Showa period. For 70 years since then, black lacquering has been conducted every year, to maintain the magnificent beauty of the Matsumoto Castle. 



Re-lacquering carried out every year



Since lacquer is vulnerable to ultraviolet rays, we re-lacquer the walls from September to October every year.
Lacquer gets dry, as it hardens due to the effects of an enzyme contained in the lacquer. The enzyme works only when air temperature is over 20 degrees Celsius and humidity is over 60%. A drying room, which is used for lacquerware, cannot be used for the Matsumoto Castle, so we re-lacquer its walls in early autumn, when meteorological conditions satisfy the above requirements. 



Handing down the national treasure to the next generation 




The Matsumoto Castle has a robust texture with the lower parts of walls covered with black-
lacquered weatherboards.
There are some castle keeps with black walls around Japan, but black-lacquered walls exist only at
the keep of the Matsumoto Castle.
Manpower is required for lacquering the large keep with a height of 29.4 m, so we engage in the
lacquering while recruiting workers and training successors.
We will hand over the Matsumoto Castle as well as our time-honored lacquering techniques to the
next generation.

bottom of page