The Ishikawa International Urushi Exhibition, specializing in Urushi ware (lacquer ware), was established in 1989 and will enjoy its eleventh exhibition in 2017. Each time, the exhibition drew many excellent works from over ten countries and territories around the world, and it has built a high reputation as the world showcase of brand new Urushi arts and crafts.
 The home of the exhibition Ishikawa Prefecture is also a home for many of Japanese traditional arts and crafts. Above all, Ishikawa boasts having three of Japan’s major lacquer ware production areas: Wajima, Yamanaka, and Kanazawa. Lacquer ware produced in these areas have been sophisticated in the long history of living cultures of the local people.
 In such an environment, this exhibition has been repeated for the purpose of revitalizing the Urushi-related industries. We also wish that this exhibition will help to encourage international exchanges, and let people recognize the value of Urushi, a material that is friendly to humans and the environment, as well as the excellence of the lacquerware producing techniques.
 For the exhibition in 2017, we call for entries not only from Japan but also from around the world, to again explore the potential of Urushi. From daily utensils to artistic expressions, we look to discover a wide variety of proposals of new lifestyles with Urushi ware or new sensations brought by Urushi.
The Executive Committee of the Ishikawa International Urushi Exhibition

(Composed of: Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa City, Wajima City, Kaga City, The Kanazawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Wajima Urushi Ware Cooperative Society, Yamanaka Lacquerware Cooperative Society, Kanazawa Urushi Ware Cooperative Society, and Design Center Ishikawa)
Requirements for Applications
1. Works must be coated with Urushi.
2. Category: Choose “Design” or “Art”
  • Design category – The work is a commercial product that can be produced and distributed systematically.
    Art category – Expression is the primary objective of the work. In both categories, any type of work may be submitted such as tableware, vases, interior goods, wall panels, jewelry, objects, etc. Works that have been previously exhibited elsewhere or commercially released may also be submitted.
3. Limitations
  • Size :  Total of the width, depth, and height not to exceed 2.1 meter
  • Weight : Not to exceed 50 kg
  • Number of works: Each applicant (individual or group) may submit only 1 work (or 1 set of works).
  • The work (or set of works) must be a completed, solid one. Incomplete or intangible works (e.g. just a ‘written idea’ or a ‘drawing’) will not be accepted.
Note : Works not meeting these requirements will not be assessed.
Grand Prize ¥1,000,000 (awarded to 1 work)
Gold Prize ¥200,000 (awarded to 2 works)
Silver Prize ¥100,000 (awarded to 2 works)
Honorable Mention¥50,000 (awarded to 4 works)
Jurors’ Special Prize ¥30,000 (awarded to 7 works)
Note :
  1. Grand Prize will be presented to 1 work from among the both categories.
  2. As a general rule, 1 Gold Prize, 1 Silver Prize, and 2 Honorable Mentions will be selected from each category.
  3. Jurors’ Special Prizes will be presented to 7 works from among the both categories.
  4. Please be noted that income tax will be deducted from the prize money.
Assessment Panels
Preliminary Assessment (based on the digital images of the works):
Nagatoshi Ohnishi (Japan)Urushi Artist,
Professor Emeritus at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music
Shinichi Yamamura (Japan)Design Consultant,
President of Cobo Design Co., Ltd.
Teruko Mitarai (Japan)Representative Director of T-POT Inc.
Shinya Yamamura (Japan)Urushi Artist,
Professor at Kanazawa College of Art
Final Assessment (based on the real works):
Nagatoshi Ohnishi (Japan)Urushi Artist,
Professor Emeritus at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music
Motomi Kawakami (Japan)Chairman of Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP),
Representative of Kawakami Design Room Ltd.
Shinichi Yamamura (Japan)Design Consultant,
President of Cobo Design Co., Ltd.
Setsuko Yamada (Japan)Design Coordinator,
Representative of TWIN Inc.
Kaoru Uchino (Japan)Urushi Artist,
Instructor at Ishikawa Wajima Lacquer Arts Training Institute.
Nobuyuki Tanaka (Japan)Urushi Artist,
Professor at Kanazawa College of Art
Shinya Yamamura (Japan)Urushi Artist,
Professor at Kanazawa College of Art
(In no special order. The composition of the panels may change without notice.)
Application Deadline: March 3 (Fri), 2017
Applications can be made from our official website or by sending the specified Application Form by postal mail.

  1. Application from This Website
    Please read the following guidance before you move to the Application Form page.
    1. To apply for the exhibition, please complete the Application Form and submit it, with the digital images of your work (up to 3 files) attached to the form. Applications will be accepted until March 3 (fri), 2017.
    2. The images must be stored in JPEG format, and the size should be approximately 2000 x 3000 pixels. Make sure that each image shows the work from different angles, or in details, so that the jurors will be able to understand the work precisely. The digital images will be used during the preliminary assessment and for the exhibition catalog.
    3. The file names of the image files to be attached should be “01,” “02,” and “03,” according to their priorities. The image named “01” will be used for the exhibition catalog.
    4. Make sure that the work is correctly oriented in each image. The executive committee shall not be responsible if the work is incorrectly printed in the exhibition catalog (e.g. reverse, wrong side up) due to the wrong orientation in the digital images.
    5. In the Application Form, be sure to specify the size of the work, paying particular attention to the size unit. The work will not be assessed if the size is not indicated and therefore it is unclear whether the work meets the size condition.

  2. Application by Postal Mail
    Please contact the secretariat office and request the Application Form (hard copy), by postal mail, fax, or email. The title should be simply “Request of Application Form.”
    Specify your name, address, zip code, phone number, and how many copies you will need (The Application Form consists of the “Entry Information,” “Application Form,” and “CD Labels”).
Application Charge
  1. Applicants from within Japan are requested to pay ¥5,000 of application charge.
    The amount must be transferred to the bank account below by no later than March 3 (fri), 2017.
    The remittance fee must be paid by the applicants.
    • Bank/Branch: Hokkoku Bank / Head Office

    • Account Type: Ordinary account
    • Account Number: 3 5 2 7 0 9
    • Account Holder:
  2. The Executive Committee
    The Ishikawa International Urushi Exhibition
    c/o Design Center Ishikawa

  3. No application charge is required for applicants from outside japan.
Preliminary Assessment
In late April 2017, the appointed jurors will conduct the preliminary assessment of the works, based on the digital images submitted.
Notification of Results
  1. Each applicant will receive a written notification of the results of the preliminary assessment by postal mail, approximately two weeks after the assessment.
  2. Only the works selected through the preliminary assessment will qualify for the final assessment and the exhibition.

The following procedures apply only to the works selected in the preliminary assessment.
However, please read them carefully in order to understand the entire flow of the exhibition.

Exhibitor Agreement
  1. Along with the letter of result notification, the successful applicants will receive the two kinds of documents: “Guidance for Exhibits” and “Exhibitor Agreement.”
  2. Those who wish to participate in the final assessment must submit the “Exhibitor Agreement” to the secretariat office. The deadline is specified in the “Guidance for Exhibits.”
Shipment of the Works
  1. After submitting the “Exhibitor Agreement,” the applicants should then prepare for shipping of their works. The destination and the deadline are both designated in the “Guidance for Exhibits.”
  2. The shipping expenses must be covered by the applicants themselves.
  3. Each applicant shall be responsible for securing his/her work in a package (a stowage box) durable enough to protect the work from damages during the transportation. Any work without a package will not be accepted for the exhibition. In addition, please have your work insured against loss or damages as you deem appropriate. The executive committee shall bear no liabilities for loss of or damages to the works during the transportation.
  4. The works will be unpacked and inspected on the day before the final assessment. If any damage is found in the work upon unpacking, the executive committee will notify the applicant. Negotiation regarding such damage shall be between the applicant and the shipping company.
  5. The executive committee shall bear no responsibility if the submitted work cannot be displayed in the final assessment or exhibited in the exhibition due to the damages during shipping.
  6. If an applicant submits a work that is different from the one selected in the preliminary assessment, the applicant shall be disqualified, and the work will neither be assessed nor be exhibited.
  7. In the final assessment and the exhibition, the works will be displayed referring to the digital images. However, if your work needs a specific instruction for the correct assembling or installing, please include a sketch or a note in your package, and also attach it to your “Exhibitor Agreement.”
  8. The works will be handled with utmost care by the official art specialists throughout the entire processes of the exhibition. The executive committee, however, shall take no responsibility if the work is not correctly displayed in the final assessment and the exhibition due to its extremely complicated assembling/installing requirements.

  9. Conditions 9 to 19 apply only to submissions from outside japan:

  10. For the works submitted from outside Japan, customs clearance will be obtained on a “re-export” basis, which means that the work will be returned (re-exported) from Japan after the exhibition.
  11. Customs clearance will take approximately one week. Consider this fact when you ship your work so that it will reach Kanazawa in time.
  12. The works priced at ¥10,000 or more on the CIF basis (CIF= total cost, i.e., the work’s price plus insurance and freight) must NOT be sent by postal mail or international express courier, because they cannot obtain customs clearance on a re-export basis if sent in such a way. Even if the work clears customs, customs duties may be charged upon its return. In this case, such customs duties shall be paid by the applicant.
  13. Only the works from China and a few other countries/territories, where an individual cannot personally send his/her work overseas, may be sent by postal mail. In such a case, the destination must be the shipping company designated by the executive committee. More details will be found in the “Guidance for Exhibits.”
  14. The works from Korea are to be collected in a place designated by the executive committee and be sent to Kanazawa all together. More details will be described in the “Guidance for Exhibits.”
  15. Customs duties that may arise at a Japanese international airport, as well as the Japanese domestic transportation fees, will be covered by the executive committee.
  16. When shipping your work, please use the "INVOICE" attached to the “Guidance for Exhibits.” Be sure to fill in each field of the INVOICE. As for the price of the work, write the same price as you specified in your Application Form. Your work may fail to clear customs if the INVOICE does not contain sufficient facts about the work and/or the price of the work specified in your INVOICE differs from the one in your Application Form.
  17. The executive committee shall bear no responsibility if the work cannot be displayed in the final assessment and the exhibition because of its failure in customs clearance due to the deficiency of the INVOICE.
  18. If an applicant from overseas, or his/her appointed person, brings the work with him/her directly into Japan, it will be treated in the same way as submission from within Japan. In such a case, all the expenses that may be necessary such as Japanese customs duties, in-Japan transportation fees, etc., shall be paid by the applicants, not by the executive committee.
  19. The executive committee will only correspond with the applicant himself/herself, even if the applicant has an agent conduct the shipment on his/her behalf.
  20. Wooden packing materials (wooden boxes) must NOT be used for shipping, because they require submitting a fumigation certificate at the quarantines of international airports. Even if a work in a wooden box succeeds to reach Kanazawa without the certificate, the executive committee will have to prepare and submit it when we return the work using the original wooden box. The executive committee will take no responsibility for such a matter. However, this limitation does not apply to using plywood.
Final Assessment
In late June 2017, the real works will be assessed by the final assessment jurors, and the “prize-winning” works will be finalized. Other works not winning a prize will thereafter be referred to as the “selected” works, for which no official certificate etc. will be presented.
Panel Discussion
A panel discussion will be held on the next day of the final assessment, where the final results will be disclosed, and the final assessment jurors will review the prize-winning works and the final assessment itself. The date, venue, and other detailed information will be provided only to the applicants in Japan as soon as they are finalized.
Final Results Announcement
  1. The final results will be delivered to the press in Ishikawa Prefecture.
  2. The final results will also be delivered to the major organizations and publications in Japan related to art, craft, and design, along with the notice of the upcoming exhibition in a timely manner.
Final Results Notification
Each applicant who participated in the final assessment will receive a written notification of the final results by postal mail, approximately two weeks after the final assessment.
All the works submitted to the final assessment will be exhibited in The Ishikawa International Urushi Exhibition 2017. The exhibition will take place in Shiinoki Cultural Complex, Ishikawa Prefecture, and then travel to Ishikawa Wajima Urushi Art Museum (in Wajima City), a public museum specializing in Urushi arts and crafts.
The Ishikawa International Urushi Exhibition 2017
Period : October 13th (fri) to 25th (wed) 2017 – (For 13 days, tentative)
Venue : Shiinoki Cultural Complex, Ishikawa Prefecture
The Ishikawa International Urushi Exhibition 2017 in Wajima
Period : In December 2017 (For 1 month, tentative)
Venue : Ishikawa Wajima Urushi Art Museum (Wajima City)
Exhibition Catalog
  1. An exhibition catalog will be published, containing pictures of all the works submitted to the final assessment.
  2. Those works which were selected in the preliminary assessment but were not submitted to the final assessment will not appear in the catalog.
  3. Each applicant (individual or group) who participated in the final assessment will receive a free copy of the catalog.
Sales of the Works
  1. The works will be put on sale only in the exhibition in Kanazawa (not in Wajima).
  2. All the works available for sale will be exhibited with their prices.
  3. Those works for which a buyer appears during the exhibition will be sold by the executive committee. The actual sales processes, however, may be entrusted to a professional agent.
  4. Please note that, in some cases, the retail price may double the Artist Price.
Management of the Works
  1. From the moment the work is officially received by our consignee in Kanazawa, the executive committee will take responsibility for safe handling of the work, with insurance and the greatest care by the official art specialists, until it is returned to an international airport in the applicant’s country. However, the executive committee shall bear no responsibility of compensation for loss or damage of the work due to some inevitable causes such as natural disasters.
  2. Each applicant must specify the price of his/her work (Artist Price) in the Application Form, because the secretariat will calculate the insurance amount for the work based on the Artist Price. In addition, please specify whether you agree to sell your work or not in the Application Form. If there is a prospective purchaser of your work and if you have agreed to sell your work, the secretariat will sell the work after the exhibitions, at a retail price calculated based on the Artist Price (The actual selling processes will be entrusted to a professional sales agent).
  3. The intellectual property rights to the submitted works reside entirely with the respective artists (applicants).
  4. Our policies regarding the use of the intellectual property rights are as follows:
    1. The executive committee, the local government of Ishikawa Prefecture, and other related public organizations shall be allowed free use of the intellectual property rights to the submitted works for public relation and exhibition purposes.
    2. This shall include free use of the submitted digital images for the exhibition catalog, posters, postcards, etc., to publicize the exhibition.
    3. No time limit is placed upon such use of the intellectual property rights.
    4. If a third party requests permission for commercial use of the digital images, the negotiation shall be between the third party and the artist.
    5. If a purchaser of a work wishes to use the intellectual property rights to it, the negotiation shall be between the purchaser and the artist.
    6. There is a possibility that the prize-winning and/or selected works will be re-photographed at the discretion of the executive committee. In such a case, the above-mentioned (a) to (e) shall apply to such re-photographed images as well.
  5. As a general rule, sketching, photographing, or video-recording the works at the exhibition sites will be prohibited, excluding the executive committee and the press doing so for recording purposes.
Return of the Works
  1. All the works except for sold ones and donated ones will be returned to the applicants, through the official carrier, approximately two months after the exhibition in Wajima is closed. Repacking of the works will be entrusted to the official art specialists.
  2. If any damage is found in the work upon its return, the applicant shall contact the shipping company. Do not contact the executive committee. We cannot address any troubles during the returning transportation because we are unable to confirm the damages or the situation at first hand.
  3. For the works submitted from within Japan, the returning expenses as well as the insurance fees shall be paid by the recipients upon delivery. Repacking costs, however, shall be paid by the executive committee.

  4. Conditions 4 to 7 apply only to submissions from outside Japan: Read 4-7 very carefully to have a full understanding about them before deciding your submission. In the past, there were some troubled cases regarding the payments of the customs duties or other charges imposed on the applicants at the international airports in their countries. Those applicants who refused to pay such charges were unable to receive their own works.

  5. The returning expenses for the work submitted from outside Japan shall be paid by the executive committee until the work reaches an international airport in the applicant’s country.
  6. Customs duties etc., which may be imposed at the international airport in the applicant’s country, as well as the transportation expenses from the international airport to the applicant’s residence, shall be paid by the applicant.
  7. Please be reminded that the applicant will be unable to receive his/her own work if he/she is unable, or refuses, to pay the customs duties or the extra charges, which might be imposed at the customs of the international airport in his/her country, and/or the transportation expenses from the international airport to his/her residence. In such a case, the work will be disposed of at the international airport.
  8. If an applicant from overseas asks for his/her work to be returned to a person/place in Japan, the entire expenses for in-Japan transportation and insurance shall be the recipient’s responsibility (by collect). If the executive committee has paid any kinds of expenses on behalf of the applicant upon the arrival of the work in Japan, such as customs duties or domestic transportation expenses, the recipient may be requested to reimburse such amounts to the executive committee as well.
  9. 8. If the work is not purchased at the exhibition and the applicant does not request it to be returned, the work should be donated to the executive committee. Each applicant shall agree on this in the “Exhibitor Agreement.”
Other Matters
Any matters not detailed herein shall be summarily handled as deemed appropriate by the executive committee.
  1. Any inquiries should be sent to the secretariat office by mail, fax or email, either in Japanese or English. Inquiries from overseas must contain the name of your country; otherwise we may not be able to answer.
  2. An inquiry should be concise within 1 page.
  3. Please understand that, as each inquiry will be discussed in the secretariat, it may take one or two weeks to return an official answer.
  4. Inquiries by telephone will not be accepted.