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An Overview on Traditional Japanese Paper Crafts

Sunday, April 10, 2016 8:52 AM

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Japanese paper is well known for its beauty and its distinctive patterns. It used can be used for writing and wrapping but it also is an elementary part of Japanese sliding screens and windows. Over time multiple centers of paper making have developed in Japan. On this page we introduced a few Japanese papers that have been recognized as national crafts.


Japanese Awa Paper  

Awa Paper / Awa Washi / 阿波和紙

Awa Paper originates from the city of Yamakawa in the Tokushima prefecture and paper production for imperial court ceremonies can be traced back to the 8th century. Although various papers for calligraphy, craft and painting are made in Awa, the indigo-dyed paper of Awa is the most distinctive output.



Japanese Tosa Paper  

Tosa Paper / Tosa Washi / 土佐和紙

Tosa Paper from Ino city in Kochi prefecture since centuries is famous for its colored paper although a vast range of papers is still being produced.  Traditional papers for shoji window-screen or calligraphy are made as well as papers for contemporary use such as fine quality printing as well as gift wrapping.



Japanese inshu Paper  

Inshu Paper / Inshu Washi / 因習和紙

Inshu Paper is made in the village of Saki in the Tottori prefecture. It has a long history and it is well known for artists’ papers which are very distinctive. In addition to art and craft papers for important records, documents as well as wallpaper, paper for sliding screens, translucent paper for shoji window-screens, and some colored papers are produced.



Echizen Paper from Japan  

Echizen Paper / Echizen Washi / 越前和紙

Echizen Paper has a history of being used for official purposes. It was used by the court around 927, has been used to write down official orders and even supplied paper for official bank notes at the end of the nineteenth century. Today Echizen produces a wide range of paper for official use (e.g. bonds and checks) as well as common use for gliding slides and screens, stationery, painting and calligraphy.



Uchiyama Paper  

Uchiyama Paper / Uchiyama Washi / 内山和紙

Uchiyama Paper from IIyama city in Nagano prefecture is particularly known for its strength. Iiyama’s abundant streams, clean air, cold winter temperatures and heavy snowfalls play an important role in its production. Techniques for paper making include freezing the bark fibers by laying them onto the snow and snow bleaching, which imparts a soft whiteness to the sheets.




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