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Talk About Gofun

Talk About Gofun

About Gofun

What is gofun ?

GOFUN is a white paint important to Japanese painting, and it refers to a pigment made from micronized oyster, scallop and clam shells.
It has been used since the days of old in Japanese paintings, on the faces of Kyoto dolls, on Noh masks, and in the murals and ceiling paintings at shrines and temples.

GOFUN is the term originally referring to white lead, which was imported from China in the Nara period (eighth century). Since the Muromachi period (14th through 16th centuries), however, gofun has generally been used as a material based on oyster shells.

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Gofun from Japan's oldest pigment merchant, Uebaesou

Our Gofun is made in Uji city in Kyoto. In the Uji River basin, we use water turbines that use rapids to draw water to the paddy fields for rice milling. This same tactic can also be seen in old videos and songs. Use the water wheel, it was done also for making Gofun.

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Until the shells are made into Gofun.

Our company's gofun is made from 100% Hokkaido scallop shells. First, we sort them into several types according to size and the part of the shell that were weathering over a period of about 10 years. The thickness and color of the right and left shells are different.

In the production of gofun, the shells are left to weather over many years to remove the impurities on the surface. These are crushed in a mill, kneaded with water and pulverized in a stone mortar via a wet grinding process. The powder is then separated through elutriation, utilizing the differences in sedimentation velocity depending on the weight of the particles.

The muddy object is then poured out in a thin layer on a cedar board, dried in the sun and then removed from the board by knocking. Gofun is sorted into several types based on the type, size and part of the shell it was made from, or the level of refinement.

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The inheritance of traditional

There are 5 different grade of our products. Fine powder has a soft color and is used for the top coat or the finish. Coarse powder is white and has good covering properties. The irregular particles make it suitable for filling in gaps and it is therefore used in base coats and for adding volume. Different types should be selected according to their use.

The powder particles of the natural material "gofun" have a very pretty, round shape. Therefore, they are gentle to the skin and nails, and they make it possible to achieve a lightweight application unique to a water-soluble product. Along with the warmth and gentleness that "gofun" has as a natural material, we believe that Japanese colors provide rich and varied color to human life.

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