Lacquer (urushi) has been an integral part of the Japanese lifestyle and is treasured for its many qualities. It has been used as a protective and decorative coating material for at least six thousand years in Japan. The traditional Japanese New Year repast is incomplete without lacquer ware. Particularly, special decorative lacquered tiered boxes are brought out at this time to contain the festive fare. Today, urushi is even used to decorate such things as elevator doors and computer cases.