On Sunday I got a call out of the blue from my rod making teacher, saying that he was on the way to my place. Well it turned out he had built for me, from scratch, a wooden box for curing urushi lacquer, which is now ready for use. Despite his stern teaching methods and rather uncompromising attitude, I am always struck by his kindness and generosity.
Now all I have to do is buy some lacquer and I am ready to start. Due to the use of synthetic materials, the dying out of the lacquer artesans and that everything is now mass-produced by slave labour in China, almost all traditional dealers in urushi lacquer have disappeared from Japan. In fact, there are only two in the whole of Tokyo; fortunately one is very close to me, in Ueno, so I will make the trip some time soon.