Origin : Japan
Made of : lacquer
Classification : plants / leaves
Maker : ?
About "Japanese maple" (momiji - 紅葉) :
The Japanese maple (acer palmatum) has been cultivated and selected for centuries by Japanese. It's a small to medium size tree with leaves looking like a little hand (momiji). Because of it's small leaves, momiji trees are often used for bonsaïs.
In autumn, some species turn into a very vibrant red. Like for the cherry blossom, Japanese gather to admire the momiji in temples and parks. Kyoto temples and gardens are famous for their beautiful momiji. The mix between bright red and tender green momiji leaves is a delight for the eyes.
About "lacquer" (shikki - 漆器) :
Lacquer has been used in Japan since the Jomon period, 7'000 years ago. The lacquer varnish comes from trees and is applied, layer by layer, on wood. The result can be mat to very shiny with even a 3D effect often obtained by applying gold powder. In the Edo period (1603–1868), Japanese developed special techniques to produce lacquerware of the finest quality.