I am very pleased to announce the opening of Kanazawa Higashiyama Shitsurae, a gallery that presents the traditional crafts of Kanazawa under a new light.

This building is referred to as former Moroeya. It was originally two separate buildings called Yoshimojiya Iso and Etchuya Matakichi, which were later joined together. Subsequently, it became a place of Chaya culture called Hotaruya; it is a time-honored place that is in a well-known story. Fortunately, the Higashi Chaya District, which is an important traditional building preservation area, was blessed with this structure, which will be passed from generation to generation as a place where new stories will unfold. With this in mind, we thought about how best to use the building in order to please the local residents.

Higashiyama is a source of vibrant culture related to the performing arts that have developed along with the history of Kanazawa; it is a place that allows many people to discover the traditional techniques of Ishikawa Prefecture. My unveiling of Kanazawa Higashiyama Shitsurae is the result of a dream I had to work in the field of crafts, making use of the connections I have with outstanding artists.

This gallery reflects my passion for crafts. I hope that you will enjoy discovering the wonderful works of Kanazawa artisans.

Kuniko Asano, Owner of Kanazawa Shitsurae
Profile of Kuniko Asano

Ever since being captivated by the brilliance of a piece of gold leaf, she made it her mission to make the attractions of Kanazawa known to the world. To that end, she founded Hakuichi Co., Ltd. in 1975. At the time, even though 99% of the gold leaf used in Japan was produced in Kanazawa, it was treated only as a material for use in crafts. This being the case, she decided to plan and produce “Kanazawa gold leaf crafts”, and sell them. As a trailblazer, she turned Kanazawa gold leaf crafts into a local Kanazawa industry that came to be recognized all over Japan.
Now that she is the company chairman, she is continuing her lifework of creating new value for Kanazawa gold leaf. In order to ensure that the traditional gold leaf techniques are passed down to the next generation, she is using modern technique development methods to take on the challenge of introducing gold leaf to such fields as building materials, cosmetics, and food ingredients.