kinkarakawa 金唐皮
CATEGORY: art history / crafts
 
Literally "gold Chinese leather." A kind of decorated leather with patterns created by painting, relief or gold foil. Introduced from Europe in the Edo period, it was used primarily for the decoration of furniture and walls, but also on bags, boxes, and saddles. The materials used are oxhide, cowhide, calfskin and goat skin (kid). In the late Edo period, thick kouzo 楮 (paper mulberry) was used instead of the leather, and called gikakushi 擬革紙 (fake leather paper) or kinkarakawa. Reportedly Hiraga Gennai 平賀源内 (1728-79) invented gikakushi, layering paper reinforced with persimmon tannin, impressing an intaglio design, and coating it with gold lacquer. In the Meiji period, it was used for book binding.
 
 

 
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