Ishikawa [Materials and Tools for Making Crafts] KANAZAWA Haku (Gold Leafs)

Art / Traditional crafts
Hokuriku-Shinetsu Ishikawa
Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square
Update date

The history of Kanazawa gold leaf can be traced back to the latter half of the Sengoku era (1428-1573), when Maeda Toshiie, the feudal lord of the Kaga clan, sent a document to Japan while on a campaign in Korea, explaining how to produce gold leaf. The Shogunate subsequently established a guild for the workers and controlled the production and sale of gold leaf throughout the country.
After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, government control of the craft was abolished and the gold leaf craftsmen of Kanazawa took the opportunity to further develop their techniques as well as expand production. With its reputation for high quality, Kanazawa remains the top producer of gold leaf in the country.

Gold leaf is between 0.1 and 0.2 µm thick. For this reason, it can be applied to virtually any material, including metal, ceramic, lacquerware, wood and paper, as well as designs of any complexity. In addition, none of gold’s raw luster is lost during application, resulting in products of captivating beauty and splendor. Large amounts of gold leaf are used on shrine and temple buildings as well as household Buddhist altars. Items produced today include signs, individual carved characters and mizuhiki decorations for gifts and the finest art mountings.

KANAZAWA Haku (Gold Leafs) (details page)

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