Japan wax is a pale-yellow, waxy, water-insoluble solid with a gummy feel, obtained from the berries of certain sumacs native to Japan and China, such as Rhus verniciflua (Japanese sumac tree) and R. succedanea (Japanese wax tree).
Japan wax is a byproduct of lacquer manufacture. It is not a true wax but a fat that contains 10-15% palmitin, stearin, and olein with about 1% japanic acid (1,21-heneicosanedioic acid).
Japan wax is sold in flat squares or disks and has a rancid odor. It is extracted by expression and heat, or by the action of solvents.