When you walk around the town of Kanazawa, you will find gold leaf everywhere! Gold leaf! Gold leaf!
From sweets to drinks, not only Japanese and Western foods, but also gold leaf in Kanazawa.
The reason why Kanazawa is so popular with gold leaf is that 99% of Japanese gold leaf is made in Kanazawa.
There are two types of manufacturing methods for Japanese gold leaf, Tachikiri: Shear cutting gold leaf and Entsuke: Rim with gold leaf.
This time, we approached the charm of gold leaf with rim, which was registered as an intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO.
As mentioned above, there are two types of gold leaf manufacturing methods: Tachikiri and Entsuke.
Tachikiri is a mass-produced manufacturing method in which carbon paper is punched and cut together with the paper.
Entsuke is characterized by a soft shine created by stretching it with a special paper called foil beating paper made from Japanese paper.
Due to its weakness to static electricity, it is called edging because the edges are carefully cut one by one with a bamboo tool.
By the way, foil stamping paper is made by craftsmen in about 3 months, but it is a very important work because the workmanship (finished status) of this paper leads to the result of gold leaf.
■ Why is gold leaf manufacturing so popular in Kanazawa?
There are several factors that made gold leaf production popular in Kanazawa.
・ Humidity blessed weather
・ Temperament of craftsman
・ High demand
・ Blessed climate and environment
Kanazawa is a region with a lot of rain, as there is a saying, “Don’t forget your umbrella even if you forget your lunch box.”
Humidity is high throughout the year due to the climate peculiar to the Sea of Japan side.
Therefore, the climate was suitable for gold leaf manufacturing, which dislikes static electricity.
In addition, gold leaf is manufactured in the world, and the method of making it differs depending on the country, such as using animal skin when stretching the foil. In Japan, gold leaf is thinly spread with foil beating paper made from Japanese paper, but a lot of water is used to make Japanese paper and to prepare the Japanese paper into foil beating paper.
Kanazawa is blessed with many water sources, and I think that such regional characteristics are one of the factors.
・ Temperament of craftsman
The work of sheet metal is very steady and delicate, and it is all the work that you have to take a long time and tenaciously face each other.
In Kanazawa, we did not continue to make gold leaf for a long time, and because the shogunate banned the production of gold leaf for a long time, there was a period of illicit product, and during that time, the craftsmen were always facing the production of gold leaf. We have overcome such a period and continue to this day, but the nature of leaf is a material, and the demand for old-fashioned crafts and architecture is declining. In order to protect this wonderful technique that craftsmen have protected and inherited, we are also exploring new possibilities for leaf.
In Ishikawa Prefecture, there are many traditional crafts such as lacquerware such as Washima-nuri and Yamanaka-nuri, and Buddhist altars such as Nanao Buddhist altar. Gold leaf is sometimes used for them, so it can be said that there was demand.
In addition, many gold leaves are handled in the Ninomaru Palace of Kanazawa Castle, and when the Ninomaru Palace was burnt down in 1808, a lot of gold leaf was needed for reconstruction, which is said to have led to the flourishing of gold leaf making in Kanazawa. In other words, it is said that gold leaf manufacturing has taken root in this land of Kanazawa because it was blessed with people and the environment and there was demand.
■ Seven changes in gold leaf that you can enjoy eating, seeing, and making
Gold leaf used to be used in architecture and crafts, but today it is used in various fields such as food and cosmetics.
Edible gold leaf can be used for all purposes such as putting it on food, sweets, and drinks, and mixing it. In addition, it is difficult to use Entsuke gold leaf, but it is also possible to roll and wrap it by taking advantage of its size.
Flake type such as Hakuzanmai and sprinkle type such as Ogonfubuki make cooking easy and gorgeous even for the first time.
Also, those who make wedding items such as wedding reception name tags and paper items such as greeting cards. It is also used as a handmade material such as resin and glass.
Since it is as thin as 1 / 10,000 mm, it is possible to express it by making the best use of the base such as paper and wood grain.
In addition, it can be used for decoration of hairstyles for adult ceremonies and weddings, and decoration of nails. Since it has an elegant shine peculiar to gold leaf, it can be used in both Japanese and Western styles in a gorgeous atmosphere from a natural taste.
Gold leaf is difficult to use by itself due to the nature of the material, but
I think that there are still many possibilities, such as combining with various things because it is a material. Please find your own way of using it.
■ Experience gold leaf at the gold leaf shop Sakuda!
At the actual gold leaf shop Sakuda in Kanazawa, we have a wide variety of gold leaf products such as food and cosmetics as well as crafts. In addition, you can enjoy gold leaf with all five senses, such as a gold leaf pasting experience and a tour of gold leaf manufacturing at the workshop, so please stop by when you come to Kanazawa.
Please see the official website for details such as business hours.
If you are a gold leaf shop in Kanazawa, you can buy gold leaf shop Sakuda | From crafts to cosmetics (goldleaf-sakuda.jp)