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The Kid Should See This

The Japanese handmade paper of Kyoto Kurotani

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Observing the craftsmanship in 18 workshops around Kyoto, Japan, filmmaker Kuroyanagi Takashi recorded how Japanese washiGanpishi, Kozogami, Mitsumatagami — is made, an 800 year old art. Watch the making of Japanese handmade paper of Kyoto Kurotani.

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Branches of the (kozo, gampi or mitsumata) bush are trimmed, soaked, the bark removed, and the tough pliant inner bark laboriously separated, cleaned, then pounded and stretched.

The addition of the pounded fibre to a liquid solution, combined with tororo-aoi (fermented hibiscus root) as a mucilage, produces a paste-like substance when it is mixed.

It is this “paste” which is tossed until evenly spread on a bamboo mesh screen (called a su) to form each sheet of paper. The sheets are piled up wet, and later laid out to dry on wood in the sun or indoors on a heated dryer.

making paper from plants
finished paper
Watch more of how things are made in Japan:
• The art of suminagashi or Japanese paper marbling
• Making Japanese rice cakes at Nakatani-dou
• Amezaiku (飴細工) Japanese Candy Sculptures
• Making a traditional Japanese wooden Kokeshi Doll
• Kintsugi & kintsukuroi – The art of pottery mending with gold
• The Swordmaker

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