The production of the Japanese gold leaf started in Kanazawa 400 years ago, during the reign of Maeda Toshiie, the lord of the Kaga clan. The humid weather of Kanazawa and the clean water from this area proved to be important advantages, since these factors are essential for the production of quality gold leaf, and today Kanazawa produces over 98% of the Japanese gold leaf.
Actually, the gold leaf is produced not only from pure gold but includes small quantities of copper and silver and the leaf is so thin that the gold leaf produced from a quantity of alloy equal to a 10 yen coin covers the size of a tatami mat (95cm × 191cm). Put in numbers, the thickness of the gold leaf is between 0.0001mm and 0.0002mm!
In Japan the gold leaf is used for temples and shrines decoration but also for household objects like furniture, ceramics or folding screens, and also makes for some interesting souvenirs from Japan…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: