Wearing Gold – Japanese Way

Three years ago I visited Mr. Saito in his studio in Kyoto.  On washi paper, he first applied Urushi lacquer. Next he carefully placed ultra-thin gold films on top of it. Yes, the real, 24K gold. Once the gold films were laid out, he brushed off the surface to create intricate patterns.

The sheet of paper with gold films was cut into thin threads…so thin, about 0.3mm. At his studio, Mr. Katsuyama made sure that the thin threads were meticulously woven into the beautiful obi.

Mr. Katsuyama is one of Rakufurin’s partners (同人). Rakufurin has been producing high quality, one of a kind obis with unique, beautiful designs in Kyoto for over three generations.  I thank Ms. Reiko Horie, the third generation CEO of Rakufurin, for introducing me to Mr. Saito and Mr. Katsuyama. Ever since then, what has become my hidden goal…. You can guess.

This spring my hidden goal has been achieved!  Reiko-san showed me some the collaboration work by Mr. Saito and Mr. Katsuyama at Rakufurin’s Exhibition in Kyoto. With Reiko-san’s assistance, I have selected one….

I don’t want a necklace.  Nor a ring. This is my Japanese way of wearing gold.


  1. Beautiful obi for a lovely person. You found each other. A perfect match!
    My friend and I participated in one of your Ikebana classes some time ago. The class was a birthday present for my friend. I think back fondly of it and my teacher.
    This November I will visit Japan for a little over 2 weeks; Tokyo, Kyoto, Takayama then finishing in some small town south of Tokyo before heading on to Thailand & Vietnam. Visiting Japan is a lifelong dream of mine 🏮

    1. Hi Laurel,
      Thank you very much for your comment. And thank you for taking my Ikebana class before.
      Have a wonderful trip in Japan!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.