Hotei-bori hand carving
More than 100 years since its foundation
Japanese and gold leaf signs
Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on weekdays
❶ Carving the characters using a small carving knife. The technique used is called hotei-bori (the contour of the characters is carved deeper than the center).
❷ Hand carving
❸ The characters are carved in a piece of zelkova wood and gold leaves are used for the color.
After several years, the color of the zelkova will fade and the golden letters will stand out.
Hand carving with wood chisel
❶ Carving the characters using a wood chisel. This tool is used to carve large characters.
❷ Sign of Yoshimitsu Japanese sweets shop in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
❶ Applying gold leaves directly on site. This task is particularly difficult when working outdoors in windy weather since the gold leaves are thin and very light.
❷ The old gold leaves are removed carefully before applying new leaves.
❸ The work is complete.
Traditional andon lamp and embossed characters on a wooden sign
❶ Electric wooden sign (traditional andon lamp) under construction
❷ Embossed character. Both sides of the character in relief are cut to give them a round shape. Katsura wood is used for the material.
❸ Wooden family emblem under construction
Cut out characters with gold leaves
❶ Katsura wood is used for cut out characters (embossed characters). The characters are cut out from the wooden panel using a bandsaw. The edges are rounded to obtain this result.
❷ After the first layer of lacquer.
❸ During polishing after applying the second layer of lacquer.
❹ After application of the last layer of lacquer. This step is important because the luster of the surface will impact the surface quality after applying the gold leaves.
❺ Gold leaves are applied to the sides and the surface of the characters. After all the leaves have fully adhered, the characters are coated with a finish to protect the gold leaves. This coating is required for outdoor applications.
❻ The customer is a sake brewery located in Niigata. So we asked a local artisan to perform the installation work for this job. The picture shows the sign before packing and delivery.
Gold leafing at Nittai-ji temple
Work at the Kakuozan Nittai-ji temple in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
The gold leaves are applied after carving the characters, applying the foundation layer, polishing, applying the second layer and finally polishing again.
Gold leaf application
Gold leaves are applied to part of a character on a wooden sign of a Japanese sweets shop.
Works by application
Kurita Kanbanho / 2-1-20, Izumi, Higashi-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi Prefecture 461-0001 ／Tel: 052 (931)7886 Fax: 052 (931) 3902
● Registration for outdoor signs businesses ● Aichi Prefecture (Registration 18) No. 438 ● Nagoya City (Registration 18-0) No. 255 ● Mie Prefecture No. (06) 00415 ● Gifu Prefecture No. 664