Craftsman from the town of Aizu developed its distinct lacquerware techniques during the Edo Period (1603-1868) when Japan was an isolated country and free from foreign influence. Through the Meiji Period until WWII (1868-1945), Aizu continued to produce lacquerware. However, the industry greatly struggled after the war. Maruni Lacquerware Crafts Company played an important role in keeping the struggling industry afloat. See "組合の歩み History of the Union". Aizu Lacquerware Cooperative Union. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
February 25, 1949, The New York Times, p 41:
300 Samples Items Brought Here by Head of Maruni Co., Tokyo
Samples of 300 items of new Japanese lacquerware, suitable for the American market, have been brought here by Hatsutaro Nihei, president of the Maruni Company. Ltd., of Tokyo, it was announced yesterday by the SCAP Foreign Trade New York Office. Mr. Nihei has been named technical adviser to the office and representative of the Japanese lacquerware industry.
The items, which will be on exhibit at the New York office, 292 Madison Avenue, between March 1 and 31, represent a new post-war development in Japanese lacquerware. They are made of a light metal base--instead of wood or paper, as in the conventional lacquerware. Thus, in addition to beauty, for which Japanese lacquerware has always been noted, the new products are both durable and practical, according to SCAP.