Having flourished in manufacturing and commerce since the Edo period, Takaoka city in Toyama Prefecture is well known in Japan and the world as a production area of copperware and lacquerware. Takaoka lacquerware started at the beginning of the Edo period when Lord Toshinaga Maeda who was the second generation lord of the Kaga clan, had people to make items for his daily use after he built Takaoka castle in Takaoka city. Amano Shikki Co., Ltd. was founded in 1892 in this historical town of traditional crafts and has been a wholesaler specializing and trading in high-end lacquerware such as home furnishings. They are now focusing on the planning and sales of lacquered decorative boxes and trays made by “aogai-nuri”, one of the traditional techniques of Takaoka lacquerware which is characterized by the decoration of mother-of-pearl inlay called “raden”. By using this technique, Takaoka lacquerware expresses decorations of various motifs of landscape, flowers and birds.
The materials used for raden are abalone shells cut into thin slices of 0.1mm. In order to make lacquerware with shining shell inlay on smooth polished jet-black lacquer coating, a number of processes are needed which are meticulously executed by lacquer painting and raden artisans. Around the year 2009, Mr. Shinichi Amano who is the fifth generation of the company succeeded in the production of raden glass, a series of sake glass with decorations of raden lacquerware on the underside of the glass. When drinks are served in raden glassware we can enjoy the beautifully applied patterns of the shell inlay reflected on the surface of the drink, creating a pleasurable drinking experience which made the series popular.
After launching the raden glass series, Amano Shikki began participating in overseas exhibition actively. By having their management staff attend these exhibitions the company became directly aware of the various needs and it has led to new products planning. Their OEM products in which clients can incorporate their company logos on them, also has a good reputation. They continue to produce a variety of products from tableware to interior goods through communicating with numerous artisans while leveraging on their strength as a wholesaler.