Translated by Hilary Keyes
Washi - Japanese Paper
Written by Mako Hayashi
Washi, the Japanese traditional paper, is delicate and elegant. Its colored and decorated versions make it the ideal wrapping paper. Let's take a closer look at this traditional craft.
Washi, or Japanese traditional paper, is a type of paper made using traditional techniques. This paper is made from hemp, mulberry tree, oriental paper bush or other types of plants found naturally in Japan.
Compared to Western papers that are made from wood pulp, the long and narrow plant fibers are left intake in Japanese paper, giving them a delicate yet robust quality.
Furthermore, washi paper is known for its slightly rough texture, similar to fabric, while the Western paper has a smoother, more slick feeling to it.
Long-lasting and multi-functional, washi has been used for Japanese painting, calligraphy, and other art forms, as well as in Japanese currency, shoji and other daily necessities.
Across Japan - Local Washi
In one short, washi brings to mind Bicchū washi (from Okayama), Kurotani washi (from Kyōtō), and other regional variants made with local products from all across Japan.
Washi is a local, uniquely textured and robust paper.
When you find yourself traveling in Japan, you might consider looking for the different types of washi paper that exist in each area. Wouldn't that make a creative souvenir of your time in Japan?