As far back as I can remember Iʻve loved the Japanese Washi paper.  When I was a child, it was a treat to be able to get hold of a piece of Japanese paper.  It was different from the American paper that one could tear easily.  It was more fiberous and even if you crumbled it, you could smooth it out and reuse it.

Whenever I start a project, even if Iʻve been working with the media for a long time, I start by accumulating a list of reference documents or urls.  Then I start a vocabulary list.  After the list of vocabulary is done, I am ready to locate and start on my project.  The urls and documents are in the footnotes.  The vocabulary follows.



     A method of stenciling or screenprinting paper with traditional Japanese designs1

Washi (和紙)

     和     (wa) Japanese

     紙     (shi) paper

Today, washi is made most commonly from the inner bark of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub, or the paper mulberry (kōzo) bush.  Descriptions of the paper produced by each type of plant.

     Ganpishi (雁皮(0-0)紙) – In ancient times, it was called Hishi (斐紙). Ganpishi has a smooth, shiny surface and is used for books and crafts1.

     Kōzogami (楮紙) – Kōzogami is made from paper mulberry and is the most widely made type of washi. It has a toughness closer to cloth than to ordinary paper and does not weaken significantly when treated to be water-resistant1.

     Mitsumatagami (三椏紙) – Mitsumatagami has an ivory-colored, fine surface and is used for shodō as well as printing. It was used to print paper money in Meiji period1.


Washi is used in art, clothing, furniture, objects like bags, loud speaker cones, etc, and weaponry.


1  Washi, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washi

©December 2020 by hisiamone