From start to the birth of the brilliance of a single flake

Gold leaf is roughly 0.0001 - 0.0002 mm thick. This is possible with techniques that thin out roughly 2 g (1/2 the weight of a 10 yen coin) of gold into a single sheet as thin as possible.

In order to thin the gold out as much as possible, superior craftsmanship as well as necessary elements are required, including special paper which is said to influence production and a suitable climate for gold leaf production.

More than 400 years have passed since the time of the Kaga Domain, and the gold leaf production shown here has been passed down over the years in Kanazawa.

Stage 1Gold alloy

First, small amounts of silver and bronze are melted and mixed into the gold. This is added to help adjust the tint of the gold and also because 99.99% pure gold is too soft and difficult to make into gold leaf.
The gold, silver, and bronze are placed in a 1300° C (2372° F) melting pot, and after they have melted, the liquid metal is poured into a mold and formed into a shape.

Stage 2Gold stretching

The alloy is placed into a rolling machine and stretched into a belt-like shape. This is repeated about 20 times, until the alloy is about 0.02 - 0.03 mm thin. This is then cut into roughly 6 cm squares.

This square is called koppe.

Stage 3Beating and stretching

The koppe is further thinned by beating and stretching it against many sheets of paper. When the gold has been stretched out to a 12 cm square, it is called aragane. The aragane is then cut into fourths, and stretched out to roughly 20 cm. This is called kojyū, and it is also cut into fourths. After stretching this out once again, it is called ōjyū. This is then placed between finishing papers, and is called uwazumi. At this point, it is roughly 0.003 mm thin.

Stage 4Pulling in

From here, the uwazumi is worked from 0.003 mm down to about 0.0001 - 0.0002 mm thick. This is then cut into 12 sheets, and is called coma. The coma is then placed, sheet by sheet, in between gold leaf beating papers.

Stage 5Before beating

The gold leaf placed between the beating papers is fixed to this film, and is then beaten with a special gold leaf beating machine. Once it has been beaten, this paper is no longer needed, and the leaf is moved to the main paper, and has been thinned to roughly 0.0001 mm.
About the paper: This Japanese paper is necessary for making gold leaf. The leaf is placed between sheets of this paper and then the leaf is beaten. This paper is so important that it is said that the paper determines the quality of the gold leaf. Japanese paper can be dipped in egg, acidic fruit juice, or liquid that has been heated by ashes, and it is still hard to break when beating.

Stage 6Removal

While checking the quality of the finished gold leaf, each sheet is moved to a hiromono-chō (a pad). Bamboo chopsticks and fossilized shark teeth are used, as they are static-free. Because the gold leaf is only 0.0001 mm thick, even the slightest breeze or static electricity could cause it to tear, making this an incredibly delicate job.

Stage 7Moving the gold leaf

In the final stage, the gold leaf that has been moved to the hiromono-chō is cut into pieces of the same size. There are 4 sizes for gold leaf squares: 10.9 cm, 12.7 cm, 15.8 cm, and 21.2 cm. The leaf is cut using a bamboo frame. The cutis plate is held in the left hand, and the gold leaf is moved from the hiromono-chō using bamboo chopsticks. The top and bottom of the gold leaf is then cut, followed by the right and left. The cut leaf is finally placed onto cut paper, and is now complete.

Business

Metal leaf materials

Metal leaf materials

We have developed a wide variety of Kanazawa metal leaf with original technologies, including gold leaf made from traditional methods.

Metal leaf materials

Craftwork

Craftwork

We deliver Kanazawa metal leaf craftwork utilizing lustrous and beautiful Kanazawa metal leaf.

Craftwork

Cosmetics

Cosmetics

We manage the sales of oil-absorbing paper and gold leaf cosmetics, and we also act as an OEM.

Cosmetics

Edible gold leaf

Edible gold leaf

We handle generous edible gold leaf and sweets made from craftsmanship.

Edible gold leaf

Building decorations

Building decorations

Utilizing traditional methods for Kanazawa metal leaf, we create a new power of expression for modern architecture.

Building decorations

Metal leaf processing

Metal leaf processing

We extract the charm and appeal of industrial goods and create traditional craft items complete with beauty in their use.

Metal leaf processing

Tourism

Tourism

We support tourism in Kanazawa that allows visitors to enjoy gold leaf.

Tourism