Japanese Gold Leaf Producers Dealt Blow by Epidemic

Society Culture

Kanazawa, Sept. 7 (Jiji Press)--Producers of gold leaf, a specialty of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, central Japan, are struggling due to poor sales amid the coronavirus epidemic and skyrocketing gold prices.

Gold leaf, created by pressing gold typically to a thickness of 0.0001 millimeter, is used to decorate family Buddhist altars, lacquerware and furniture, and restore cultural assets. Gold leaf products are popular souvenirs among foreign tourists.

Kanazawa has ideal levels of humidity and water quality for gold leaf production.

Gold leaf equivalent to 16.55 million square sheets, with each side measuring around 11 centimeters, was produced in fiscal 2019, making up almost all of the domestic production, according to the local association of gold leaf producers.

But the novel coronavirus epidemic has led to immigration controls and moves to avoid unnecessary travel, impacting tourism.

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Jiji Press