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Japanese lacquer (Urushi) has been utilized as a coating material to protect architectures and handcrafts in Japan. Previously, we characterized a Japanese lacquer film by detecting urushiol components, which are main components of a Japanese lacquer, using pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (PyGC/MS). PyGC/MS is effective for detecting urushiol components but does not detect lacquer polysaccharide, which more precisely characterizes Japanese lacquer.
In this study, we applied the following new methods: Py/soft ionization MS (field ionization MS and chemical ionization MS), solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to the Japanese lacquer film. These methods were revealed to be useful to characterize the Japanese lacquer film detecting the lacquer polysaccharide.