nashiji (Scope note)

Literally, 'pear-skin ground'; name given to two widely-used techniques invented in the Kamakura period. In one, large irregular shaped gold flakes are scattered at differing angles in many layers in wet 'nashiji urushi', a highly translucent lacquer that has been tinted orange; a further coating is applied and polishing exposes the flakes to produce an uneven surface texture. This technique is often used to give a uniformly decorative surface to large but less important areas, such as the interior of drawers or the underside of boxes. In the other, a fine metallic powder is sprinkled onto a lacquered surface; when dry, a coat of transparent lacquer is applied and lightly polished. (Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology, JAANUS)