Kyoto-style Lacquerware Which Zohiko Presents Footsteps From the 1st Year of Kanbun 1661

Zoge-ya, the predecessor of Zohiko, started its operation to sell specialty tools and artistic lacquer goods for daily use in the 1st year of Kanbun (1661). Hikobei III was a craftsman who excelled at the lacquerware technique and was granted the title “Master of Maki-e” by the Emperor. In the last stage of his life, he created a Maki-e panel, ‘Fugen Bodhisattva on a white elephant’. The people of Kyoto were so charmed by the beauty of this image that they named it the “Zohiko panel,” with “Zo” being the first part of ‘Zoge-ya’ and “Hiko” being the first part of Hikobei’s first name. Since then, we have been developing and gaining a trusted reputation under the store name ‘Zohiko’.

Hikobei IV was appointed the position of purveyor to Sento Imperial Palace (the imperial palace of an abdicated emperor). Hikobei VI was an artist of refined taste and created a number of art works such as tools for tea ceremonies. Hikobei VIII exported lacquerware and was known as a pioneer of lacquerware trading. He also established a school of Maki-e and worked actively on many projects. The present owner continues his endeavors. Our business is not limited to luxury Maki-e articles. We handle a wide variety of articles, such as plateware for daily use and interior goods. At the same time, we are actively collaborating with overseas companies and creators to open up new opportunities. In this way, we continue the legacy to spread the individual charm of Kyoto-style lacquerware that cannot be conveyed easily.

A picture of the shop in Ayanokouji, Tera-machi, Kyoto at the time of its foundation. The large dish at the front of  the store still exists today.

A building housing an exhibition space and guests room was built in Okazaki in 1918. The photo is of the early Showa Era.

A part of the Lacquer Workshop