Traditional Crafts

During the Edo period Kanazawa's ruling Maeda family fuelled the growth of important crafts. Many are still practised today.

Kanazawa & Wajima Lacquerware

To create Kanazawa and Wajima lacquerware, decoration is applied to luminous black lacquerware through maki-e (decorating with gold or silver power) or gilding. Artists must take great care that dust does not settle on the final product.

Ōhi Pottery

The deliberately simple, almost primitive designs, rough surfaces, irregular shapes and monochromatic glazes of Ōhi pottery have been favoured by tea practitioners since the early Edo period. Since that time one family, with the professional name Chōzaemon, has been keeper of the Ōhi tradition.

Kutani Porcelain

Kutani porcelain is known for its elegant shapes, graceful designs and bright, bold colours. The style dates back to the early Edo period and shares design characteristics with Chinese porcelain and Japanese Imari ware. Typical motifs include birds, flowers, trees and landscapes.

Kaga Yūzen Silk Dyeing

The laborious, specialised method of Kaga Yūzen silk dyeing is characterised by strong colours and realistic depictions of nature, such as flower petals that have begun to brown around the edges. White lines between elements where ink has washed away are a characteristic of Kaga Yūzen.

Gold Leaf

A lump of pure gold the size of a ¥10 coin is rolled to the size of a tatami mat, becoming as little as 0.0001mm thick. The gold leaf is then cut into squares of 10.9cm – the size used for mounting on walls, murals or paintings – or cut again for gilding on lacquerware or pottery. Kanazawa makes over 98% of Japan's gold leaf.