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Kanazawa Gold Lead - A Traditional Japanese Craft Brimming With Culture

This video, titled "手技TEWAZA「金沢箔」kanazawa gold leaf/伝統工芸 青山スクエア Japan traditional crafts Aoyama Square," was released by Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square (伝統工芸 青山スクエア).

In Japan, gold leaf is vital to the decoration of buildings and stone monuments, such as the ones introduced at 3:45 in the video, as well as various products, including bowls, dolls, folding screens, fans, and more.

Gold leaf is also used to decorate Japanese food and sweets.
The video shows how beautiful products are made with gold leaf.
Enjoy the beauty of the traditional craft in the video.

Kanazawa Gold Leaf, a Traditional Japanese Craft - How It's Made

Image of gold leaf
Photo:Gold leaf

The manufacturing process of gold leaf begins with a process called "kin-awase" (金合わせ, melting silver and copper together with the gold).
Gold alone is too soft, so small amounts of silver and copper are mixed into the material.
This material is melted and then shaped.

The gold plate, like the one shown at 1:48 in the video, is stretched thin in a process called "nobe-gane" (延金).
A high level of skill is required to make the gold foil approximately 1/10,000th of a millimeter thick.
The gold leaf is stretched thinly with a foil-striping tool, and finally transferred to Japanese paper and cut evenly, completing the Kanazawa gold leaf process.

Purchasing Kanagawa Gold Leaf Products

Image of gold leaf
Photo:Gold leaf

With the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train), the number of tourists visiting Kanazawa is increasing year after year.
If you're planning a trip to Kanazawa, we recommend visiting workshops, such as Hakuichi (箔一), and purchasing traditional Kanazawa gold leaf products made by a traditional craftsman as a gift or for yourself.
Gold leaf may seem pricey, but there are surprisingly reasonably priced items, so be sure to check out the numerous products for sale.

Summary of Kanazawa Gold Leaf

Image of gold leaf
Photo:Gold leaf

This time, we introduced Kanazawa gold leaf, a traditional Japanese craft, and how it's made.
Kanazawa gold leaf is a traditional craft designated by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry as such, and is one of the most representative traditional crafts of Kanazawa.

On your trip to Kanazawa, we recommend experiencing Japanese culture at a hands-on class where you can make your own Kanazawa gold leaf and enjoying gourmet food made with Kanazawa gold leaf!

【Official Website】 Hakuichi
https://www.hakuichi.co.jp/en/company/

Written By
Sep. 15, 2020
Japan
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
The Beautiful, Shiny
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