Studio Summary


With over 800 years of history behind us, our craftsmen are working hard to maintain the knowledge, skills and techniques perfected over generations as well as develop new designs. As craftsmen have done before, the same natural materials and mixtures of lacquer are used as well as maintaining designs and making them available to the modern consumer. Our craftsmen are not only making a local product but a product that deeply believes in the term “mono tsukuri”- the art of the hand-made. Our products are embedded with the hours of the skilled craftsmen whose care and attention makes a product that truly can be depended upon but is also a work of art in itself. We pride ourselves on making timeless, beautiful and fine quality everyday wares that can be used for generations to come.

Business name

Akita Kawatsura Lacquer Jujiro


Mr Sato Koichi


〒012-0105 Akita Ken, Yuzawa Shi, Kawatsura Cho, Aza Odate, Shimosano 119-3


TEL 0183-42-3576 FAX 0183-42-4616




Business Activities

Description of service- Lacquerware makers and seller

Number of employees

3 craftsmen

Where to find our lacquer-wares

Akita Bi-ike design shop
Akita Yohin Ichiba Goen
We also hold special exhibitions at department stores across Japan.

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History of the Studio


Master craftsman Jujiro created his studio and shop in what was then the Inakawa district of Ogata (now the current Kawatsura town). After his death, the studio was continued by his skilled workforce and grew into a well-reknown store for the wholesale of lacquerware goods in the northern Japan Tohoku district.


Mr Koichi Sato took up his current position after graduation from high school. Keen to take on his craftsman role to continue the family tradition of lacquerware, he became a student of the master craftsman Mr Katsuo Fujita.


Continuing with the making and selling of local lacquerware, Mr Sato joined the lacquerware association and through them came to meet and know a wide range of professionals (department store retailers, wholesalers, designers and craftsmen etc.) from across Japan


In an open call from the All Japan Craft Design Association, Mr Sato`s lacquerware was chosen for special exhibition. During this time he became strongly conscious of the value of using traditional materials and historic designs.


Through collaborations with designers and makers, the works of Mr Sato became to be exhibited in various Metropolitan areas in Japan.


Utilizing connections made in the All Japan Craft Design Association as well as those in the Akita Craft Council, Mr Sato develops opportunities for production and collaborations, developing a new style for both continued exhibition in metropolitan areas in Japan as well as overseas.


Mr Sato`s son, Sato Fumiyuki graduates from his three year specialist training at the Wajima Lacquer Art Technology training institute in Ishikawa Prefecture.


Fumiyuki returns from his studies and begins to be taught the unique to Kawatsura process of lacquering from his father.


Whilst still under instruction from his father, Fumiyuki exhibits his works at the All Japan new works traditional art exhibition (East Japan), the Akita Arts exhibition and xxx Industrial Arts Exhibition


From the recognition gained through exhibitions, Kawatsura tableware can be found at restaurants and tableware specialist stores as well as becoming favored by food and tableware coordinators.


Kawatsura lacquerware is invited to exhibit at the Japanese Food Culture Seminar and join the Party of Food and Industrial Craft, held at the Japan Culture Center in Paris, France. We introduced the work of Jujiro and received much praise from the participants.


Mr Sato is invited by special invitation to join a JETORO event held in Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture that gathered together Japanese artisans with buyers from France and Germany. Mr Sato took this opportunity to discuss the possibility of overseas development of the Kawatsura brand.


A nest of boxes by Jujiro is exhibited and introduced in the ceramics booth in the Japanese entry to the Milan World Exhibition.

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Resume of Master Craftsman

Mr Sato Koichi



Born in Kawatsura Town, Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture


Graduated from Yuzawa High School in Akita


First selection to join the Japanese Craft exhibition. He would later exhibit over 40 times, with multiple entries every year since.


Becomes a regular member of the Japan Craft Design Association and opens a touring exhibition called the Craft of Kawatsura.


Establishes the Akita Craft Association and opens a touring exhibition called the Crafts of Akita.


Elected to become the Chair of the Akita Craft Association (a post held until 2002)


Founds and directs the Takumi Artisan Team 21


Opens a Kawatsura Lacquerware Jujiro atelier exhibition in the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Nihonbashi in Tokyo (runs until 2010)


Kawatsura lacquerware is selected to join the exhibition of Japanese crafts and art objects from Akita, held in New York, by the Imperial Household Ministry.


Participates in outdoor craft events, exhibits at department stores around the country, and exhibits as part of special exhibitions with affiliate groups.


Becomes acknowledged by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare as a first class certified technician of Craft. Retain membership of the Japan Craft Design Association as well as becoming an advisor to Takumi Artisan Team 21 and the Akita Craft Association. Receive special recognition at various craft exhibitions.


Mr Sato Fumiyuki



Born in Kawatsura Town, Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture


Graduates from Masuda High School


Joins Wajima Lacquer Art Technology training institute in Ishikawa Prefecture for specialist training. His graduating work wins the special recognition encouragement prize from the Japan Lacquer Technicians Association.


Graduates from the graduate program at Waijima.


Starts work on the restoration of the Toshogu Shrine in Ueno, Tokyo, a designated important cultural property of Japan (under the auspices of the company Sawanodogen)


Continues working on the Toshogu Shrine.


Passes the examination to receive master craftsman accreditation from the Japan Traditional Arts Industry Promotion Association.


Exhibits in the Milan World Exhibition in Italy as part of the Japanese entry.


Participates in the Akita Industrial Crafts Association exhibition and gives a presentation at the Japan Culture Center in Paris. Also participates in the Jugetsudo Store in Paris.

History of recognition received

Akita Industrial Arts Association, two encouragement prizes, two special awards
Akita Art Exhibition Group, seven awards with one special recognition award
Kahoku Industrial Arts Exhibition, twice selected
Japan Traditional Arts New works exhibition, twice selected
The Beauty of Lacquer, selected exhibitor
The workings of Japanese Culture, the Beauty of Lacquer, selected exhibitor
Tableware Design Specialists, selected exhibitor
2010 Winner of the Japan Chamber of Commerce Presidents Award in the All Japan Lacquerware exhibition
2013 Selected to exhibit at the All Japan Traditional Industrial Arts Exhibition
2016 Directors Prize from the General Assembly of Everyday Object Development Center in the All Japan Lacquerware exhibition

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