Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum

About the Museum

The Yasue Gold leaf Museum was founded in 1974 by Yasue Takaaki (1898-1997) to preserve the legacy of goldbeating and gold leaf craft for future generations. It is one of the world's few museums dedicated to gold leaf. The museum introduces the goldbeating process and related tools, and exhibits fine art and craft works featuring gold and gold leaf.
The museum was donated to the city of Kanazawa in 1985 and relocated to Higashiyama in 2010. The Higasiyama area was home to Kanazawa's goldbeaters at the end of the Edo period (1603-1807), and many gold-leaf businesses still operate here. The museum building was inspired by traditional Kanazawa storehouses.

Leaflet (PDF)



9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (No admission after 4:30 p.m.)


  • Tuesdays (or the next weekday if Tuesday is a holiday)
  • New Year Holidays (Dec.29-Jan.3)
  • Periods of exhibit change

*Dates closed in June 2024- August 2024
July: 2,9,16,23,30
August: 6,13,20,27

Admission Fee

General Admission ¥310
Group Admission (more than 20 people) ¥260
Senior Citizens (over 65 years old)
Person with disability certificate
Child/Student (through high school) Free


Transportation Directions

  • Hokutetsu Bus
  • JR Bus
  • Kanazawa Loop Bus
    From Kanazawa station bus terminal (east gate) Stop at "Hashibacho"
    3-4 minutes walk to the museum.

* The museum does not have any parking facilities, so please use public transportation instead.

Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum

1-3-10 Higashiyama, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken 920-0831
Tel : 076-251-8950 Fax : 076-251-8952







robe with a design of hermitages and flowers in karaori


Late Edo period, 1856

Karaori, literally "Chinese weave," is a richly brocaded garment mostly for female roles in play.
Gold ground is woven using gold thread. Hermitages, pine trees and flowers are represented by floating colored wefts, creating a surface effect similar to that of embroidery. The gold or silver thread used for karaori, as in the present work, is made by pasting gold or silver leaf on washi (traditional Japanese handmade paper), then shredding it into threads.

Flower vase in kinran-de (overglaze enamels and gold decoration), Satsuma ware


Meiji period, 19th century

Kinran-de (literally, brocade style) is a style of decorative ware in which gold leaf or gold paint, made by dissolving gold leaf powder in animal glue, is applied on overglaze enamels.
Ceramics made in Kagoshima Prefecture (former Satsuma Province) are collectively called "Satsuma ware," which can be roughly categorized into informal folk craft kuro-Satsuma (literally, black Satsuma) and ornately decorated shiro-Satsuma (literally, white Satsuma).

Suzuri-bako (writing box) with auspicious composition of pine and cranes in maki-e

IGARASHI Zuiho (1852-1903)

Meiji era, 19th century

On the surface of the lid, the pine tree bark is depicted in taka-maki-e, a technique in which gold or silver powder is sprinkled over a lacquer design raised with carbon powder. The sky is filled with nashiji (pear skin finish) which is rendered by scattering gold powder. On the inside of the body, autumn flowers are depicted with raden, a technique in which mother-of-pearl is cut into the shape of a design and affixed in place with lacquer.
IGARASHI, born in Kanazawa, was the last lacquer artisan of the Igarashi School that continued since Muromachi period (1333-1573).

Folding screen in color on paper with gold leaf, "Sights in and around Kyoto (Rakuchu rakugai)"

Attributed to IWASA Katsushige (1604-1673)

Edo period, 17th century

The theme of "in and around Kyoto" together with the depiction of people's lives began to be painted in the late Muromachi period (16th century), when the interest in genre painting had become strong. The theme became popular throughout the Edo period (17th -19th centuries).
In the present work, which is mounted in a screen format, the theme is depicted on paper to which gold leaf has been pasted. Sunago (gold and silver leaf powder) is sprinkled on the lower parts of the screen.

Buddhist figure Eleven-headed Avalokitesvara (Kannon) in wood


Muromachi period? (1333-1573)

The introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the 6th century brought about popular worship in Avalokitesvara (Kannon), particularly the Eleven-headed Avalokitesvara as it is said to save worshippers from difficulties.
Gold paint, which is made by dissolving gold leaf powder in animal glue, is applied to the body of the statue. The robe and the pedestal are decorated in kirikane, a technique in which several sheets of gold or silver leaf baked and attached to each other are cut into various small shapes and then applied on the surface of the statue.