What is Urushi?

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Most people practicing Kendo knows that the Menbuchi, which is the rim of the men around the Mengane and the Do are traditionally painted using Japanese ‘Urushi’, also known as ‘Japanese wood lacquer’, however many might not know exactly what this is.
 
Urushi is a kind of natural paint which is gathered and made from the sap from Urushi trees, which is mainly found in Asia. Urushi has been used to decorate furniture and tableware for thousands of years and is still part of traditional craft work of Japan, and is hold in high esteem due to the unique features it provides.

Urushi Lacquer has a unique luster and provides great protection for anything that it’s applied upon, and can be applied upon practically any surface. When the Urushi dries it provides a hard coating that is waterproof and protects the coated object against mold and weather conditions, it will even protect the object against such substances as acids. However prolonged exposure to direct sunlight might cause the Urushi lacquer to deteriorate. 
Urushi also makes a excellent adhesive and be dyed in various colors, as in the case of Men & Do for Kendo usage to decorate various objects.

The Bogu’s made at Tozando uses traditional Japanese Urushi which is applied by our own expert craftsmen to ensure the highest quality possible.