Let us briefly introduce the long-established techniques and our careful works as craftsmen of Kyoto.
Hyogu are produced through a number of processes. We’d like to raise your interest by looking at these processes which are rarely seen by the general public.
You might have seen in a temple an altar, where the object of worship is placed, sparkling with gold color. Gold was said to be used because its brilliant light would let you feel the Land of Happiness. The color of gold may remind you of “pure gold,” but gold foil has a more calm and soft brilliance, which quiets your mind while shining.
I once encountered an awesome work of gold paper covering in a temple in Shimonoseki. When I learned that it was a work by Sotaro Hashimoto, our 3rd President, 70 years ago, I felt happy and honored. We’ve been receiving many orders from temples since the time of the 1st President, and the techniques of gilding have also been passed down since then.
Processes of gilding
1. Drawing the lines
2. Board for drying
3. Base coating
4. Applying oil
5. Peeling off the hakuaishi interleaving paper and placing the foil paper on the foil
6. Attaching the foil paper to the foil
7. Gilding by transferring the foil and foil paper attached to each other to the torinoko paper
8. Mending and coating
9. Checking the finished gold paper in every nook and corner
Finish the work by carefully checking that there are no wrinkles, that no piece of foil is laid over another, and that there are no peelings.
What is the restoration of a temple’s Hyogu?
Hashimoto Kogando, in relation to Hongwanji Temple, has been receiving orders from temples since the time of our 1st President. It’s not that we use special tools or materials because it’s for temples, but we basically aim at achieving durability of more than 50 years because temples will last for many generations.
In addition to “gilding” explained in Traditional Techniques, we produce ceiling paintings as well as sliding doors and folding screens for temples.
In addition to newly creating products, we also receive many orders for “restoration.” Because the restoration of historical items such as wall paintings requires careful work, our staff members brace up for it upon undertaking.
Work processes of wall-painting restoration
1. Removing dust from surface
2. Preventing fallings
3. Fixing torn parts
Place paper on the surface (omotebari) so that dirty pieces of paper on the wall can be easily peeled off.
Gold paper Covering for Temples
Our biggest characteristic in conducting gold paper covering is that we can do both the manufacturing of authentic gold paper and covering on-site.
If manufacturing and covering are separated, the locus of responsibility can be unclear in the case of a problem.
Partly in order to avoid such problems, we conduct both manufacturing and covering.
Tachikiri-type 157-millimeter-square authentic gold paper
We use entsuki type of authentic gold foil for authentic gold paper covering.
However, in light of recent economic concerns, it may be difficult for customers to useentsuki authentic gold paper.
We felt very sorry that some customers have given up using traditional gold paper gilded with authentic gold foil, and instead use industrially-made gold paper.
In order to resolve this, we developed large tachikiri gold foil. While entsuki foil usually uses 128-millimeter-square foil, large tachikiri foil is a 157-millimeter square.
The flow of covering at the site (in the case where the base is plywood)
The above is the rough flow of the work.
We also handle cases where the base material is unusual.
Typically, we recommend plywood for the base.
Materials used for authentic gold paper
We use truly selected materials for producing authentic gold paper.
Gold foil is purchased from Kanazawa. We visit the gold-foil craftsman’s house to check in advance how the gold foil is manufactured and have preliminary discussions with them.
As for the torinoko paper used for the base of gilding, we also visit the paper factory in Echizen to check the manufacturing conditions and have preliminary discussions with them.
We will continue to make every effort to produce better products.
Step 1: Receiving an inquiry
Step 2: Providing a rough quote
Step 3: Investigation at the site/Checking the item to be restored
Step 4: Providing a detailed quote
Step 5: Contract
Step 6: Restoration work
Step 7: Completion of restoration
Please check the restored item.
If there is any problem, contact us right away.