A hand mirror adorned with an “eight-wisteria” motif and gold tassles.
Whereas most Aizu lacquerware products tend to be practical everyday items, all the items in the Bitowa collection, including even something as practical as a mirror, are so exquisite that many people will prefer to use them decoratively.
The Bitowa collection was created by a team in Aizu Wakamatsu whose aim was to combine contemporary design aesthetics with the best Aizu lacquermaking traditions. Aizu is one of the few craft centres in Japan where specific tasks (woodworking, lacquering, etc.) are divided among highly specalised artisans. This makes the best use of each person's skill. The “eight-wisteria” (*yatsufuji*) motif requires extremely fine *maki-e* (gold-sprinkled lacquer picture) skills.