Tesuki Washi Handmade Japanese paper (Washi)
Kikaizuki Washi Machine-made Japanese paper
Yoshi  Machine-made western-style papers

Main Raw Materials for Washi

Kozo  Broussonetia kazinoki Sieb, family Moraceae. General term for a variety of paper- making mulberries, characterized by strong, sinewy and long fibers.
Mitsumata Edgeworthia papyrifera Sieb. et Zucc., family, Thymelaeaceae, genus Edg-eworthia. Characterized by fine-grained, soft, pliant and lustrous fibers.
Gampi Diplomorpha sikokiana Nakai, family, Thymelaeaceae, genus Diplomor-pha. Harvested Feb. to May when water content is higli. Characterized by fine and glossy fiber
Kurara Sophora angustifolia Sieb. Et Zucc., perennial herbaceous plant of the lupinus family, fiber taken from bark of stems.
Asa Cannabis sativa L. Hemp


Neri General term for the various kinds of vegetable mucilage used in Washi, such as that extracted from the Tororo- aoi root.
Tororo-aoi Hibiscus manihot L. Medic.  Annual herbaceous plant of the genus Abelmoschus of the Malvaceae family. Roots harvested between Nov. and early Dec. and crushed to make Neri mucilage. A rela¬tive of okra.
Nori-utsugi Hydrangea paniculata, Sieb, grows to height of 6-10 ft, deciduous tree of the Saxi-fragaceae family. Inner bark used to make Neri mucilage.

Washi Producing Methods

Tamezuki “Tame” means to save, amass or accumulate, i.e. in that sense to settle. Suki or Zuki means the action to make paper so literally translated “fiber settling papermaking method”. The ancient, original technique of scoop¬ing fibers, in which sheets are formed quickly and without use of mucilage by allowing the pulp stock to drain through the screen. In other words, Tamezuki is done by putting the right amount of material into the mold and allowing the solution to filter through while spreading it evenly.
Nagashizuki “Nagasu” is the verb mean ing to let flow or run. Literally translated “fiber flow papermaking method”. This papermaking method peculiar to Japan, is characterized by ejecting excess pulp stock from the mold made possible by the use of Neri. In other words, Nagashizuki is done by repeatedly filling the mold and keeping the solu-tion moving until one tosses out the final amount.

Tools used to make Washi

Keta Wooden frame that holds the screen.
Su Flexible screen, usually bamboo but sometimes miscanthus that acts as a sieve or strainer upon which the paper sheet is formed.
Sugeta Papermaking mold; combination of su (screen) and keta (frame).
Sha Fine screen, usually silk gauze; placed on top of a su to produce fine thin paper.
Suku To make paper ; as a prefix, the same character is read suki and as a suffix, -zuki.

Other special words

Dosa Sizing solution made from animal glue and alum.
Shito Literally “paper bed or floor”. A stack of wet sheet Washi.
Sukashi Watermark
Gofun Chinese white or lime white, incinerated shell powder, "black bark” ; bark which has not been cleaned of its outer black layer.
Kurokawa “black bark”; bark which has not been cleaned of its outer balck layer
Shirokawa “white bark”,inner bark cleaned of its outer black bark.

Washi products

Danshi Literally “Sandlewood paper”. Originated in The Nara period (710-794) and even currently used as high grade wrapping paper or for ceremonial rites. This is a Kozo paper, thick, elegant and white which ladies of the court preferred to write poems during the Heian period (794-1192). It was also called “Michinoikugami” which is synonymous with Danshi. The present Danshi is furrowed or creped but this is a comparatively new development. Used for ceremonial purposes today.
Fudagami Literally "tag paper”. Thick, water resistant tag paper used for labeling fabrics during dyeing. Coated with persimmon tannin to make it waterproof.
Fusumagami Thick paper used for surface of Fusuma (sliding panel).
Gasenshi Originally, a calligraphy writing and India ink drawing paper imported from China during the Yedo period (1603-1867). There were attempts to make Chinese- style Gasenshi wmch is char-acterized by subtle blurring of ink and a smooth brush touch. In Mitsumata paper producing areas, bamboo, straw and wood pulp were mixed and such paper as Inshu (Tottori) and Koshu (Yamanashi) Gasenshi were developed and are called Wagasenshi (domestic-made Gasenshi) in contrast to imported Gasenshi. Standard size 72.7 x 136.4 cm.
Hakuaishi Literally, “interleaf paper for foil”. 100% Mitsumata paper, used for packaging and preserving gold and silver foil.
Hakuuchishi Literally, “foil beating paper”. When beating out gold or silver foil,a small piece is placed between the sheet of paper and beaten. A special clay is used in this Gampi paper and Nashio (Hyogo) has been famous for its production from old times. Also made in Kanazawa (Ishikawa).
Hanshi “Half size sheet”,originally half size of old Sugiharashi (25 x 35 cm). A paper of many uses, durable, thin, light and inexpensive. Used for calligraphy writing, account books, etc.. Sekishu (Shimane) and Suruga (Shizuoka) Hanshi have been famous from old times.Now- adays, such Hanshi as Mozo (imitation) and Kairyo (im-proved) Hanshi made from wood pulp and a mixture of other materials are produced. Standard size 24- 26 x 32.5-35 cm.
Hodomurashi The name is derived from the locality of production in To-chigi where papermakers still exist. The Karasuyama clan encouraged production of this Kozo paper and together with the, Nishino- tuchishi produced in the neigh-boring Mito clan, it gained a high is a little thicker than Nishinouchishi and is an old style Tamezuki paper but formed using Neri. Used for printing books.
Hoshoshi A high grade Kozo paper. The original meaning of this paper is that oral orders or commands of the Shogun were written by secretaries or government authorities in his name on this paper and signed with official seal affixed. In the middle ages, this paper originated in Echizen (Fukui) and especially during the Yedo period (1603-1867) it was extensively used as official document paper. The reputation of Echizen Hosho is high and currently remains in use as woodblock print paper. Standard  size 39.4 x 53 cm.
Hosokawashi A catch-all name for Kozo Washi produced in Ogawa- cho, Saitama for permanent records, accounts, etc.. Origi¬nally a Kozo paper similar to Sugiharashi made in Hosok- awa (Hyogo) was brought to Yedo and as the papermaking center of Yedo was Ogawa, the technique of the 2 papers were combined to make Hosokawashi.
Kaishi Literally “pocket paper”. A general term for paper used in the tea ceremony tucked in the front fold of the kimono. Used to clean the fingers after wiping the teabowl or as a plate for cakes or sweets served during the ceremony. Karasuyama Kaishi is famous and is used by the Imperial household.
Karakami Literally, “Chinese paper”. Patterned writing paper introduced from China.
Kamiko Literally, “paper clothing”. The Kozo paper is treated with persimmon tannin and after drying, it is crumpled thoroughly and then smooth¬ed and tailored into a wear- ing apparel.
Katagami Thick, durable paper cut into stencils. Ise Katagami is a stencil design cut in Ise. However, the base Kozo or Mitsumata paper is from Hiroshima or Gifu
Kinshi Ginshi Yoshi 100% Mitsumata paper, cut and twisted into yarn. The yarn is coated with gold or silver and used in Nishijin (Kyoto) brocade.
Komagami Originally, a paper often used as a utility paper by women for wrapping or Kai-shi and was decorated by a pretty design. The scope of application gradually devel-oped from a small-size sheet to such large-size paper as panel paper with patterns designed in the wet sheet. Also called art paper.
Kyokushi Literally “bureau paper”. In 1874,the Papermaking Dept., Printing Bureau, Ministry of Finance was established and efforts were made to make a unique Japanese-style paper. In 1878, this paper was ex-hibited at the Paris Exposition and widely acclaimed. A thick Mitsumata paper, smooth, strongly pliant with sharp reproduction printability.
Kumogami A paper with a cloud design.  Used for long, narrow tanzaku and square shikishi poetry cards.   A decorating tech-nique of overlaying dyed fibers in a cloud design on the top and bottom part of the wet sheet. There are many variations of the technique.
Maniaishi A Gampi paper originating in the Muromachi period (1336- 1573) and the name is derived due to the fact it can be pasted without any joint for half the width (90 cm) of a sliding panel Literally, it means “paper meeting requirements” or “paper serving the purpose”. It is used for sliding panel paper, writ-ing and drawing paper and backing paper for mounting. It is represented by Echizen Torinoko and Nashio paper using pulverized clay and is an example of development into a different grade of paper.
Michinoku-gami(cf.Danshi) Literally, means "paper from northern Japan” and the name appears often in books of lady authors during the Heian period (794-1192) together with paper made by Shioku-In (Kyoto government paper mill, established 806-810). It is a Kozo paper  synonymous with Danshi. Used for ceremonial pur-poses such as writing, wrapping gifts, etc.
Minogami One of the oldest and most popular of a number of plain Kozo papers originally made in Mino, Gifu. Minogami family registers dated 702 still remain in Shoso-In which attests to its old history. The old Minogami standard size called Minoban was 33. X 24.3 cm. Today, Minogami means a Kozo paper for sta-tionary, books or Shojigami (sliding door paper).
Misugami History  of the name is unknown. It is a thin Kozo paper used for mounting. At present made in Yoshino-cho, Nara. Pigment powder derived from incinerated clam shells is mixed with Kozo pulp and the paper is made in a small size papermaking mold. The characteristic of this paper is that it is imme-diately taken off the screen and dried on the drying board so it becomes a soft and mature paper.
Minatogami Wall paper pasted about a height of 60 cm from the floor on the lower part of the wall. Pasted on the wall to support it firmly. Exclusively used for tea ceremony houses.
Momigami Thick, high-quality Kozo paper often treated with the root of Konnyaku (devil’s tongue) and crumpled, rubbed and stretched. Used for Kamiko (paper clothing).
Nishinouchi-shi A special Kozo paper encouraged by the Mito clan and the name is derived from the locale of production, Nisninouchi, Ibaragi. There are still papermakers here using the superior Nasu Kozo and the paper has a wide use and was famous as ballot paper during the Meiji period (1867-1912).
Ramonshi “Ramon” originally means a thin silk textile. A decorated paper where the dyed fiber {Gampi etc.) is twilled and overlaid on the entire surface of the paper resembling the woven textile of “Ramon”. This paper existed during the Heian period (710-794) but this gorgeous technique died out later and attempts to revive this paper continue.
Seichoshi During the Yedo period (1603-1867),a ledger cleanly rewritten was called “Set- cho”. Therefore, a high grade Kozo paper for preserving such records came to be called Seichoshi. It was extensively made in Tosa (Kochi) and western Japan and at present, it is still produced in Agawa, Kochi.
Senkashi During the Tensho years (1573-1592), the priest Senka devised this Kozo paper at the Anraku temple and the Uwajima clan encouraged production which flourished greatly. This strong and thick paper is made by scoop¬ing the stock onto a fine mesh and large mesh screen and doubled over joining 2 sheets into 1 thick one. Used for cover paper of books. Still made in Ehime and Kochi.
Senshi A drawing paper praised by writers and artists from old times and the soft and gentle blurring effect has no com¬parison. Raw material is a mixture of fibers of Chinese Spindletree bark and rice straw.
Shifu Literally, paper cloth. A 100% Kozo paper, soft and strong. The paper is cut and twisted into threads which are wove into paper cloth.
Shojigami Traditional sliding door paper. Shoji is the latticed sliding door and the paper is pasted over the lattice work and used as panels. It permits light into the room while retaining the warmth. Standard size 63.6 x 93.9 cm.. This paper is a Kozo paper produced in various areas of Japan. The highest class of Shojigami is the Shoingami. With development of Japanese-style architechture for temples and samurai domiciles, the Shoin (study room) was established and the highest class paper for the sliding door was used for this room.
Sugiharashi The name is derived from Sugihara-mura (Hyogo) at the end of the Heian period (794-1192). It is a Kozo paper representing the middle ages and samurai and priests often used this paper as gifts on formal occasions. This paper was not as thick as Danshi and it’s simplicity was favored particularly by the samurai class. During the Yedo period (1603-1867) it also became popular among the common people.
Sukigata Moyooshi Elegantly designed papers.  Paper processed while still in a moist state to create a design or pattern. Originally, paper to write poetry or copy sutras. These ornate papers are still produced today with more new designs and patterns.
Sukushi Recycled paper. Paper insufficiently deinked was called light inked paper or water clouded paper. Included in this category was Kankonshi (paper recalling the lost soul) which was paper recycled from letters of the deceased and recycled paper for daily use.
Tengujoshi In the middle ages, an extremely thin Kozo paper riginating in Mino (Gifu). The origin of the name is unknown but uses the most sophisticated of papermak-ing techniques. Used for art- ist’s tracing paper, block copy for wood-block prints, and backing paper but after the Meiji period (1867-1912), it was used for industrial papers such as typewriter paper, etc. and was made extensively in Mino (Gifu) and Tosa (Kochi). Still made in Kochi. Much is exported overseas where it is favored for wrapping material for precious stones, jewelry and pieces of fine art.
Torinoko A Gampi paper which appeared in the middle ages made primarily in Echizen (Fukui). Torinoko literally means “child of the bird.or egg” but it must have been derived from the unbleached color of the paper resembling the color of the bird’s egg of light yellow. Used for sta-tionary and cards, art printing, sliding panel paper and semi-official documents.
Uchigumori A decorative technique of calligraphy paper with an overlay of dyed fibers lying like a stretch of clouds on the upper and lower edge of the paper. There are such varieties as blue clouds, purple clouds and blue and purple clouds. The overlay fiber is now Gampi but in the past Kozo fibers were used. There is also a technique which is used to express stormy water movement.
Udagami The name is derived from Uda-gun, Nara. Used for mounting. A rather thick Kozo paper containing local clay which gives softness to the paper and prevents stret-ching or shrinking.
Yoshinogami A thin Kozo paper made in Nara which is most suitable for lacquer filtration.


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