Traditional Craft of Kanazawa

Kanazawa Gold leaf

A 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. The production 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

Kaga Yuzen

Yuzen refers to a traditional technique of dyeing silk fabrics for kimonos or products made with the technique. KyotoYuzen and Kaga Yuzen are famous. Miyazaki Yuzensai established the fundamental technique of yuzen at the beginning of the 18th century. Kaga Yuzen is characterized by designs of realistic natural beauties in five vivid tones called "Kaga gosai" (literary means

Kaga-nui Embroidery

The technique of Kaga-nui embroidery was developed in Kanazawa while it was applied to the battle jacket of the Maeda family, the lords of the Kaga Clan, and the family's kimono for women. Kaga-nui embroidery is characterized by three-dimensional designs of natural beauties using sink, gold, and silver threads elaborately. The embroidery every stitch tucked up carefully with a

Kutani Porcelain

Kanazawa's modern Kutani porcelain is based on a revival of Kutani porcelain early in the 19th century. Originally, Kutani porcelain was baked in Kutani Village in the southern part of Ishikawa Prefecture for several decades from the middle of the 17th century. Later, Kutani porcelain leaped to fame when it was exhibited at the 1873 World Exposition. Kutani porcelain has been once

Ohi Ware

Ohi Chozaemon introduced Ohi ware in 1666. He accompanied the Urasenke Grand Tea Master when the Maeda family, who ruled the Kaga Clan (the present Ishikawa and Toyama areas) in feudal times, invited the Grand Tea Master to Kaga. Chozaemon remained in Kanazawa and worked for the Maeda family. Ohi ware is lightweight ceramic ware shaped by hand and with a spatula

Kanazawa Shikki (Lacquerware)

Shikki is called "japan" in English. As its name suggests, shikki is a typical handicraft of Japan. Japanese lacquer is repeatedly applied to processed hard wood, such as cypress and zelkova wood, to complete shikki. The Maeda family, who ruled the Kaga Clan (the present Ishikawa and Toyama areas) in feudal times, invited a master artisan early in the 17th century. This master

Kaga zogan inlay/ decorate by inserting metal

Zogan (incrustation in English) is a technique of carving a base metal and inlaying other metals. Kaga Zogan originates from a metal artisan who was invited by the Maeda family in order to develop a production technology of swords and arms. The base metal is engraved with designs, such as a family crest, and other metals that are different in color, such as gold and silver,

Kaga mizuhiki/ decorate with strings

Japanese people have a custom of decorate gifts with strings called mizuhiki. Mizuhiki is a special string made by twisting a long and thin sheet of paper mixed with seaweed and white clay and hardened with paste. Kaga mizuhiki uses gold leaf and silver leaf abundantly, and it is knitted skillfully into shapes of pine, bamboo, and plum trees, cranes, or tortoises that are

Kanazawa wagasa umbrella

A wagasa is a Japanese traditional umbrella consisting of washi (Japanese paper) with a bamboo handle and ribs. Japanese traditional umbrellas are still indispensable to the tea ceremony and Japanese dance though Western-style umbrellas have replaced them in Japanese people's daily lives. By taking into consideration the climate of Kanazawa, where it rains or snows a lot,

Futamata's Japanese paper

Futamata is located in the mountains of Kanazawa, where the production of Japanese paper started 400 years ago mainly for the Kaga Clan under the protection of the Maeda family, who ruled the Kaga Clan (the present Ishikawa and Toyama areas) in feudal times. Manufacturers spend a long time boiling, manually filtering, and drying

Paulownia handicrafts

The kirihibachi, a traditional Japanese hand/room warmer made of paulownia (also called princess tree), was nationally famous before the heating instrument using oil or electricity appeared. The main reasons were that it was easy to obtain the material in those days and that a lacquer work technique used for the kirihibachi attracted people. Presently, paulownia vases, cake trays,

Local toys

People in Kanazawa have been familiar with traditional local toys as bringers of good luck. Kanazawa's traditional toys are characterized by simplicity but refined beauty. These toys include Kaga dolls, such as a lion head and traditional Kaga Tobi firefighter doing acrobatic performance, hachiman okiagari koboshi (tumbler doll), and komekui nezumi (rice eating mouse).

Kaga fishing flies

The Maeda family, who ruled the Kaga Clan (the present Ishikawa and Toyama areas) in feudal times, promoted river fishing for the physical training of samurais (members of a feudal powerful military class). Then fishing flies were made with minute feathers that looked like insects flying above the surface of the river. Presently, accessories and pendants are produced by utilizing the