Urushi lacquer has been part of the Japanese culture longer than almost any other art, except pottery making. Red and black were the first colors used and have been found in Jomon ruins over 2,000 years old.
In our area of Japan we can find lacquerware called Joboji Nuri. It is made to be used, and the simple designs and colors make it one of my favorite types of lacquer art. The few colors used are black, red, yellow, green and brown. The work of the artist in making the pictures is very natural and lovely. True Joboji Nuri is now becoming scarce. Gold and silver powder in addition to other colors that are brighter, are being used to be more commercial, but I like the old ways best. They show the human artistic spirit, not the hand grasping for more profit at the expense of losing a precious cultural asset.