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The online magazine HIGHLIGHTING JAPAN

MARCH 2023


Cover MARCH 2023


  • Gold has been a cherished aspect of Japanese culture since ancient times. In Part I of our feature “The Japanese and Gold” (October 2022), we looked at some historical examples of gold-covered structures and artifacts, and the techniques that made them possible, that still survive from the distant past. This month, in Part II of our feature, we introduce a variety of recent and contemporary uses of gold in Japan, including metalworking arts and crafts, Japanese painting, interior applications, and food.


  • An interview with Kurokawa Hiroko, director of The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts

  • Katsura Morihito uses traditional metalworking techniques to create works of art from gold and other materials.

  • Hayami Gyoshu was a painter who pursued new expressions in nihonga through his skillful use of gold.

  • Masuda Mitsuo was a metal craftsman known for his particularly skillful use of gold in works depicting scenes from nature.

  • Kyoto inlaying is revered for its use of pure gold and silver against a background of jet black lacquer.

  • The Hishikari Mine in Isa City, Kagoshima Prefecture, is one of the world’s leading gold mines today in terms of the gold content of its mined ore and its cost performance.

  • Gold leaf produced by a company in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, is being used in fields as varied as interior applications, architecture and astronomy.

  • Gold Flakes made of high purity gold leaf are growing in popularity as a way to bring a luxurious touch to special occasions.