Urushi Next is a nonprofit engaged in every aspect of urushi, natural lacquer with 9,000 years of history, from growing its trees to developing new urushi-coated products for sustainable society.
Urushi Next’s Mission
- To increase urushi,
- To make the most of urushi,
- To promote urushi use, and
- To pass down urushi culture to next generation.
To increase urushi
Domestic production of urushi today accounts for only about two percent of total demand in Japan. In order to achieve higher production levels, we optimize procedures from increasing the number of urushi trees (see below) to refining urushi sap for use.
What we do to increase the number of urushi trees:
- Securing land,
- Growing seedlings,
- Planting trees, and
- Supporting and undertaking tree planting.
Urushi trees grow only in limited areas in East Asia. It takes 15 years for the trees before sap collection is available. Each tree produces no more than 200 ml of sap.
To make the most of urushi
Urushi is a natural product, which is safe and environmentally friendly without requiring too much water or energy to produce. As urushi coating makes things hard and durable, the lacquer has high potential to replace plastic in various ways. We develop new urushi products, creating new ways of using urushi, and make effective use of urushi trees after sap collection.
Plastic free cards made of cotton fibers coated with urushi
To promote urushi use
Incorporating environmentally friendly urushi products in our daily life contributes to reducing waste and lessening environmental load. To facilitate the use of urushi items suited to the 21st century lifestyle, we offer various opportunities to familiarize with urushi and its products, such as public relations, seminars, workshops, and exchange events.
To pass down urushi culture to next generation
We are committed to passing down urushi culture to next generation by preserving national treasures and traditional handicrafts using urushi, conserving tools and techniques that have supported the urushi culture, and fostering human resources who specialize in urushi.
Urushi Next received the Excellence Award from The Japan Times Satoyam and ESG consortiums for its sustainable commitments.
Read related articles:
- Recipients recognized for sustainable contributions
- Satoyama: Excellence Award winner
- New ideas for local rejuvenation, livelihoods
Urushi Next supports the SDGs through urushi promotion.
The Ministry of the Environment of Japan featured Urushi Next on their Plastic Smart website.
Urushi Next – plastics-smart.env.go.jp/ (Japanese only)
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