gold leaf is made by beating gold into an
extremely thin sheet with a thickness of
0.1 to 0.125 millionths of a meter. It is
so thin that it will disappear when you
rub it with your fingers.
of gold leaf started in Kanazawa at the
end of the 16th century. The Maeda family,
who ruled the Kaga Clan (the present Ishikawa
and Toyama areas) in feudal times, invited
many artisans to Kanazawa. The Shogunate
in Edo (present Tokyo), however, allowed
gold beating in limited areas, such as Edo
and Kyoto. Therefore, it is around the second
half of the 19th century when the production
of gold leaf was revived publicly in Kanazawa.
mill is used to thin gold mixed with a little
silver and copper. The thinned gold sheet
is sandwiched with special paper and beaten
with a machine repeatedly to a thickness
of around 2/10,000 mm. Presently, Kanazawa produces
99% of domestic gold leaf and 100% of domestic
silver leaf and platinum leaf. These products
generically called "Kanazawa haku"
are Japan's designated traditional handicrafts.
is used for handicrafts, such as vessels
and ornaments, as well as the decoration
of temples, shrines, Buddhist altars, and
Buddhist instruments. Gold leaf technical
stores in the city sell a variety of products,
such as tissues using special paper used
for the production of gold leaf, cosmetics
containing gold leaf, and food containing
gold leaf, besides gold leaf handicraft
including chinaware, woodenware, ornaments,
and accessories. Moreover, there are stores
where you can see the production of gold
leaf or experience gold leaf pasting to
goods, such as vessels.