Luxurious lacquered polycarbonate covers for the iPhone 4/4S, inspired by surcoats (*jinbaori*) associated with warlords Oda Nobunaga (red, with gold *maki-e*) and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (black, with gold and silver *maki-e*). The Nobunaga design features paulownia blossoms and a family crest (flower in nest). The Hideyoshi design shows Mt. Fuji, with flames rising from a torch at the summit and stylised dewdrops at the base.
Aizu Wakamatsu has a history of offering practical products that are suited to everyday use. The city has a long tradition of product “curation” by local craft producers, and these items offer one example of the various initiatives being undertaken by Aizu producers to develop new opportunities for local craftshops.
While lacquer is applied to various materials other than wood, its use on polycarbonate is both unusual and striking. The lacquer used for these iPhone covers is of a very high quality, and the gold and platinum powder for the *maki-e* is exceptionally fine.
b Prize Corporation even developed for Accenture an iPhone cover that reproduces a traditional Japanese repair technique: *kintsugi* is the application of lacquer and gold powder to mend broken vessels. The results can be so beautiful that the activity of mending itself adds new value, an idea with the power to inspire in a nation recoveting from disaster.
These items were produced under b Prize Corporation supervision, and were made possible by the diverse range of craft skills that can still be accessed in the Aizu region.
iPhone 5 models are currently under development.