Newly-made products tend to have a dark overcast of reddish-black with insufficient shine, but over time will develop a hardened surface showing a clearer woodgrain with a distinct amber color shine.
If oil seeps through on the surface, wipe gently with soft tissue or with a soft dry cloth. If oil tends to adhere to surface, slightly wet with camphor oil or kerosene and wipe off with a dry cloth.
When washing with detergent, be sure to dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
How to care for your Hida-shunkei so it lasts a lifetime
For light soil, wash immediately in lukewarm water.
For oily stains, dilute some dish soap and use a soft cloth or sponge to wash gently.
Allow the piece to drain, but before it dries completely, wipe it with a soft cloth to avoid leaving watermarks.
For bento boxes and other food containers, fill with lukewarm water and allow to soak for no more than 10 minutes to dislodge rice grains and other food particles. Then wash gently with a soft sponge or cloth.
Pieces you use often do not need special storage. However, china or glass dishware may damage lacquer if stored together, so it is best to store lacquer separately and out of direct sunlight. Wrap less-used pieces in tissue paper and place in a clean, empty box for storage.
Special-occasion pieces should be wrapped in soft paper and stored in boxes wrapped in cloth. Do not store in very dry areas.
Please avoid the following, as they cause damage to lacquer.
Do not soak.
Do not boil.
Do not use nylon or steel wool to clean.
Do not expose to direct sun.
What is Tenuri-gihou handiwork?
There are 2 basic steps to make Hida-Shunkei. First, we cut, plane, and shave various kinds of wood to shape the pieces. Second, we paint lacquer on the wood. In the second step, the craftspeople who paint lacquer make sure their workspaces are temperature- and humidity-controlled to properly cure the lacquer.
True Hida-Shunkei has a sticker on a cover box. This sticker tells us that the Hida-Shunkei is hand-applied by a traditionally trained craftsperson. It is known as Tenuri-gihou (hand-applied) handiwork. Sadly, there are some Hida-Shunkei pieces that have been sprayed with chemical varnishes. They are poor imitations of the real thing and should be avoided.