Japanese Terms for Types of Flakes, Processes and Glue
The following Japanese terms identify the types of flakes, the processes used in mounting and gold flake technique, and the types of glue.
Types of Flakes
- Haku: Means a metallic leaf.
- Kinpaku: A sheet of gold beaten with a wooden mallet into a paper-thin leaf. It has been used for surface decoration on Buddhist images since ancient times. It is used on wall paintings and screen paintings. It is used in nihonga, which means traditional Japanese paintings, for decorative effects.
- Sunago: Gold dust or gold flakes made of haku by using a bamboo strainer and hard brush. Also, it can mean the technique itself of making the gold flakes.
- Ginpaku: Means a silver leaf.
- Imitation gold leaf or gold foil: Made from brass or copper and tin alloys. There is also imitation silver leaf.
- Mizubari: The stretching of paper or silk on a panel or frame to keep it flat enough to paint. Because water is applied on the surface to stretch the paper or silk, it is called mizu (water) bari (stretching).
- Urauchi: To apply thin paper to the backside of a painting to strengthen the painting. Mino paper, which is cheaper than mashi paper (traditional Japanese paper made from hemp), it often used for this purpose.
- Kirihaku: Cut small square or rectangular pieces of haku. Also, the name of the technique to make the pieces.
- Hakuoshi: To stick haku, which is too thin to be handled on its own, onto a support such as oil paper, silk or a wooden board using nikawa glue. An oil paper used for this purpose is called ashigami.
- Nori: A glue made of wheat or rice starch. For urauchi and mizubari, wheat glue is used.
- Nikawa: A glue made of animal or fish gelatin. In nihonga, which means traditional Japanese paintings, nikawa made of cow skin is generally used and mixed with dry pigments. It is preserved as a solid substance but for use it is boiled in hot water. A ceramic pan and pot is used for boiling nikawa.