Matsuzawa Urushi Kobo

Japanese Traditional Urushi   Kintsugi  Pen Makie  Urushi-e
Kintsugi Repair
Urushi Fountain Pen


Urushi Fountain Pen Custom made
In addition to processing of ready-made writing instruments, we are also happy to process your precious fountain pens.
Please feel free to contact us.

Urushi has been a precious in Japan since ancient times. However, domestically produced urushi is in danger of extinction. Of the urushi used in Japan, 95% comes from overseas and only 5% is domestically produced.

With a sense of crisis over this situation, Takuo Matsuzawa, then an employee of Iwate Prefecture, started his own business in 2009 to promote the charm and beauty of urushi, a local speciality of his home prefecture. He is now the president of Matsuzawa Urushi Kobo, which refines, processes and sells urushi and plans the manufacture, retail and wholesale of urushi-lacquerware.

Matsuzawa is also looking into the production of urushi using abandoned land. If a new urushi collection method, currently being developed in cooperation with Iwate University, makes it possible to collect sap only five years after planting, this would create a revolutionary business model for the forestry industry, which requires many years from planting to harvesting and shipping.
If low-cost mass production of urushi becomes possible, the applications of urushi will expand further. If urushi is seen as a naturally occurring urushi with low environmental impact, a completely new value can be found. It may become one of the solutions to the problem of marine pollution caused by microplastics.

Our Business Activities and the SDGs


Urushi lacquer coating is, in fact, highly functional. It is biodegradable, having high strength and antibacterial action. Sadly, Japan has been dramatically losing the national production of lacquer, down to 2% due to lifestyle change.
To promote the production of lacquer in the country, we developed cards made from hemp or cotton fibers with lacquer coating.


The Japan consumer credit association reports that there are more than 278 million new credit cards issued in Japan in 2018. We could reduce plastic and pass on the tradition at the same time if all the credit cards, other debit cards and membership cards are made with shiny lacquer. Above all, it will certainly give you a special feeling.


Please give a donation for Urushi tree planting.



It is not enough for our small company alone to make efforts to protect endangered Japanese urushi lacquer.
We need the cooperation and support of many people to protect and nurture urushi lacquer.
There used to be an abundance of lacquer trees in all parts of Japan, but now production has stagnated due to imports of cheap Chinese urushi lacquer and other factors, and urushi trees are being cut down at a rapid rate. This is happening even in places that were once famous for their urushi.
In this situation, the Japanese government has announced a policy of using Japanese urushi to repair and restore national treasures and important cultural buildings, which has led to a rapid increase in demand and a tight supply-demand situation.
It is necessary to plant and grow urushi seedlings as soon as possible, and we are promoting lacquer planting initiatives in various regions.
We have to wait more than 10 years before we can harvest urushi, which takes time, but we need to grow and plant urushi lacquer as soon as possible. We have also started researching new methods of urushi collection to increase productivity.

We will use your kind support to revive domestic urushi lacquer production and establish value-added and other activities.
We would like to ask for your kind support.
Donations will be kept separate from our accounts and their use will be published regularly to ensure transparency.



Urushi Makie Steering wheel
Urushi Tapping
 New study of Urushi harvest

Urushi Refining Machine