Lacquer technique has a long history in Japan. Lacquerware has been found on sites dating back to the Jōmon period (10,500 BC – 400 BC).

After precious metals, lacquer was a luxury material highly prized by the aristocracy, especially when sprinkled with gold powder (makie) or gold flakes (nashiji). Bridal trousseaux made in lacquer workshops in the early Edo period (1603-1868) are among the finest examples of lacquer work in Japan.