Put the final layer of lacquer on the joints of the tanago rod, and it wants only two or three finishing layers to be complete.
The top layer on the joints is shu, a native pigment that is kind of orange-red. It will gradually lighten in colour over the next few months and look a little brighter. The next step was to utilise the fact that the base layer is black, and by experimenting with sandpaper, you can make shapes in the lacquer:
It is a little difficult to see, as the lacquer is then dulled in preparation for the final polishing steps, but you can probably make out the black streaks in the red-brown background. In Japanese, this technique is called negoro (根来) nuri. Close-up under better light: