For edible purposes the most valuable of the Japanese echinoderms is the sea-slug or bche de mer (namako), which is greatly appreciated and forms an important staple of export to China.
Namako for (fish-roe) grounds were essential for the mountings Scuiptiwed - Decoration.
Namako is obtained by punching the whole surfaceexcept the portion carrying the decorative designinto a texture of microscopic dots.
The first makers of namako did not aim at regularity in the distribution of these dots; they were content to produce the effect of millet-seed sifted haphazard over the surface.
But from the I 5th century the punching of the dots in rigidly straight lines came to be considered essential, and the difficulty involved was so great that namako-making took its place among the highest technical achievements of the sculptor.
Namako disposed in straight parallel lines originally ranked at the head of this kind of work.
This is called go-no-me-namako, because of its resemblance to the disposition of chequers in the Japanese game of go.
A century later, the daimyo namako was invented, in which lines of dots alternated with lines of polished ground.