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Glossary of Japanese book paper terms

Glossary of Japanese book paper terms




  • accordion book (orihon,折本): The accordion book comes to us from Asia. It was invented to accommodate scrolls that had become unmanageable because of their size and length. The accordion book is composed of a continuous folded sheet of paper and is often enclosed between two covers. It can either be expanded outward or kept flat. [2.22]
  • ai (藍): indigo [2.3]
  • ai plant (藍): indigo plant [2.5]
  • Asa (麻): Cannabis sativa L.. Hemp [1.9]
  • Azuchi-Momoyama period: [2.23]


  • bamboo paper (chikushi, 竹紙): a paper made from bamboo barks or baby bamboo [1.3],[1.16]
  • bamboo screen (called take-su, 竹簀): a tool to form a sheet of paper, made by bamboo splints [1.15]
  • benibana (紅花): safflower, used as a pegment [2.3]
  • Book of Later Han (後漢書): The Book of the Later Han, also known as the History of the Later Han and by its Chinese name Hou Hanshu, is one of the Twenty-Four Histories and covers the history of the Han dynasty from 6 to 189 CE, a period known as the Later or Eastern Han. [1.10]


  • Cai Lun (50-121 C.E.): 蔡倫 Chinese government official of the Han dynasty [1.10],[1.19],[1.20]
  • Cell shape: [1.16]
  • Chirimen (縮緬): crepe paper [1.7]
  • chōji-buki (literally, “clove-blowing”): [2.7]
  • Choshi, choshi paper (kōzogami): Formerly called kokushi 穀紙 during the Heian period. Paper made from the fibers of the mulberry tree, kouzo 楮 (broussonetia kajinoki 梶の木), which is native to Japan and widely cultivated. [1.3],[1.6],[1.7],[1.9],[1.15],[1.16]
  • Chōsen-bon (Korean book): book printed in Korean peninsula [2.10],[2.20]
  • clove: Japanese chōji, Syzygium aromaticum) [2.7]


  • daisen (題簽): title slips, which are pasted on the front cover of books. [2.10]
  • dankan (断簡): fragmentary pieces of writing [2.1], [2.10], [2.13], [2.15], [2.19], [2.22]
  • Danshi (檀紙): Literally “Sandlewood paper”. Originated in the Nara period (710-794) and even currently used as high grade weapping paper or for ceremonial rites. This is a Kozo paper, thick, elegant and white which ladies of the court preferred to white poems during the Heian period (794-1192). It was also called “Michinoikugami” which is synonymous with Danshi. The present Danshi is frrowed or creped but this is a comparatively new development. Used for cere-monial purposes today. [1.7],[1.15] [2.20]
  • Deng Sui (81-121): Deng Sui (鄧綏) (AD 81–121), formally Empress Hexi (和熹皇后, literally “the moderate and pacifying empress”) was an empress during the Han dynasty of Chinese history. [1.19],[1.20]
  • Dicotyledon: The dicotyledons, also known as dicots (or more rarely dicotyls), are one of the two groups into which all the flowering plants or angiosperms were formerly divided. [1.16]
  • donsu (緞子): silk damask [2.23]
  • Dosa (礬水): Sizing solution made from animal glue and alum. [1.7]
  • Dōsagami (礬水紙): A paper varnished with dōsa. Also known as Dōsabiki (礬水引き) [1.7]


  • Echizen Hōsho paper (越前奉書): High quality paper produced in Echizen region (today’s Fukui prefecture) [1.8]
  • Edo bakufu (江戸幕府): The Japanese military government which existed between 1603 and 1868 governed by Tokugawa family. [1.8] [2.20]
  • Edo period, Edo era (江戸時代): The Edo period or Tokugawa period (徳川時代) is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country’s 300 regional daimyō. [1.1],[1.3],[1.5],[1.7],[1.8],[1.15],[1.20] [2.3],[2.4],[2.5],[2.6],[2.7],[2.8],[2.10],[2.11],[2.12],[2.13],[2.16],[2.17],[2.19],[2.20],[2.22],[2.23],[2.25]
  • Eishi (瑩紙): a paper which surface is leveled and smoothened by rubbing, optimized for writing [1.5],[1.7]
  • Empress Deng: Empress Deng 鄧皇后 (80-121 CE), personal name Deng Sui 鄧綏, honorific title Empress Xi 熹皇后, was the empress of Emperor He 漢和帝 (r. 88-105 CE) of the Later Han dynasty 後漢 (25-220 CE). [1.19],[1.20]


  • fukizome (吹染): blow-dyeing [2.7],[2.9]
  • Fusumagami (襖紙): Thick paper used for surface of Fusuma (silding panel). [1.6]
  • flexible-screen: Su (簀) usually bamboo but sometimes miscanthus that acts as a sieve or strainer upon which the paper sheet is formed. [1.11],[1.15]


  • Gampi (雁皮): Diplomorpha sikokiana Nakai, family, Thyme-laeaceae, genus Diplomorpha, Harvested Feb. to May when water vontent is high. Characterized by fine and glossy fiber. [1.1],[1.6],[1.7],[1.12],[1.15],[1.16]
  • Gampi (雁皮) fibers: [1.16]
  • Gampishi (雁皮紙): paper made from gampi [1.6]
  • gindei (銀泥): sliver mud, used for paint the paper [2.22]
  • gofun (胡粉): shell white to be mixed with pigments to glossy paints [2.15],[2.16],[2.17]
  • gōkan (合巻): bound book [2.20]
  • goyōgami (御用紙): official paper [1.20]
  • gubiki (具引き): coating [2.16],[2.17],[2.18],[2.19]
  • The Gyōshi or “pouring” method (撓紙法) : the earliest method consists of beating the fibers to obtain a pulp, adding water to it and then filtering it out. [1.11]


  • hakebiki (刷毛引き): brush-drawing [2.6]
  • hakezome (刷毛染め): brush dyeing [2.6],[2.9]
  • hakuokigami (箔置き紙): paper with gold foils. hakuoki literally means “to add foil”. [2.15],[2.18]
  • Hanshi (半紙): A paper which is “half the size of a paper.” Literally “half paper.” During the Edo period, it became the standard size of books. The original size derives from: Gasenshi (画仙紙)—imported from China, and/or Suibaragami (杉原紙). [1.8], [1.15]
  • Heian period (平安時代): Japanese period (794-1185) [1.7] [2.4],[2.5],[2.8],[2.10],[2.11],[2.13],[2.15],[2.16],[2.17],[2.19],[2.22],[2.25]
  • Hishi (斐紙): [1.1],[1.6],[1.12],[1.15], [2.4],[2.5]
  • Hokusai (北斎): Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎), Japanese artist in Edo period, ukiyoe painter. [2.26]
  • Hosokawashi, Hosokawa paper (細川紙): A catch-all name for Kozo Washi produced in Ogawa-cho, Saitama for permanent records accounts, etc.. Originally a Kozo paper similar to Sugiharashi made in Hosokawa (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. [1.8],[1.9],[1.11]
  • hydrogen bonding: A hydrogen bond is a partially electrostatic attraction between a hydrogen (H) which is bound to a more electronegative atom [1.4],[1.10],[1.19],[1.20]



  • Joseon dynasty (1392-1910): The Joseon dynasty (also transcribed as Chosŏn or Chosun, Korean: 조선; officially the Kingdom of Great Joseon, Korean: 대조선국) was a Korean dynastic kingdom that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded by Yi Seong-gye in July 1392 and was replaced by the Korean Empire in October 1897. [2.20]
  • Jukushi (熟紙): a paper putting treatment on Kigami for better usage [1.5]
  • jūnihitoe ( 十二単) : twelve layered kimono. Formal attire of Heian court ladies. The jūnihitoe is an extremely elegant and highly complex kimono that was only worn by court-ladies in Japan. Literally translated, it means “twelve-layer robe”. [2.13]


  • Kamakura period (鎌倉時代): Kamakura jidai (1185–1333) is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shōgun, Minamoto no Yoritomo [2.10],[2.17],[2.23]
  • Kamigata area: Kamigata (上方) is a region of Japan referring to the cities of Kyoto and Osaka; the term is used particularly when discussing elements of Edo period urban culture such as ukiyo-e and kabuki, and when making a comparison to the urban culture of the Edo/Tokyo region. [2.20]
  • kanshi (漢詩): poems in Chinese. Kanshi is a Japanese term for Chinese poetry in general as well as the Japanese poetry written in Chinese by Japanese poets. It literally means “Han poetry”. Kanshi was the most popular form of poetry during the early Heian period in Japan among Japanese aristocrats and proliferated until the modern period. [2.22]
  • Kantō area: The Kantō region (関東地方 Kantō-chihō) is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan.[3] The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa [2.20]
  • Karakami (唐紙): Literally, “Chinese paper”. Patterned writhing paper introduced from China. [2.17],[2.18],[2.19],[2.20]
  • karaoshi (空押し): embossed paper [2.20]
  • kasanetsugi (重ね継ぎ): paper decoration techniques by cutting and pasting, overlay and join [2.13]
  • Kigami (生紙) or Kisugkigami (生漉き紙): the paper without additives [1.5]
  • kindei (gold mud): [2.22]
  • Kinran (金襴), Kinran-nishiki (金襴錦): Gold brocade. Woven of patterns with gold or silver woof on a plain ground of hiraori 平織 (plain fabric), ayaori 綾織 (twill) or shusu 繻子 (satin). Kinran patterns are made by inserting thin strips of gold-covered thread into the warp of every other row. [2.23]
  • kira (雲母) or unmo (雲母): The mica group of sheet silicate (phyllosilicate) minerals includes several closely related materials having nearly perfect basal cleavage. [2.16]
  • kirabiki (雲母引き)or “mica coating”: A mica coating kirabiki 雲母引 gives a smooth painting surface with a shiny finish. [2.16],[2.18]
  • kirachirashi (雲母散し), kirasunago-chirashi (雲母砂子散し): kirachirashi (“mica sprinkling”)(lit. “mica dusting”), kirasunago-chirashi (lit. “mica powder-dusting”) [2.16]
  • kirazuri (雲母摺): lit. “mica rubbing”. In a technique known as kirazuri 雲母摺 the printing block is coated with paste nori 糊 or animal glue nikawa 膠 and printed onto the paper. Mica is then sprinkled over the glue before it dries. Sometimes a red or grey layer is printed before applying the mica, producing a red or grey sheen. [2.16]
  • kire (裂) , kireji (裂地): fragment of fabric [2.23]
  • kiritsugi (切り継ぎ): cutting and patching, splicing [2.13]
  • Kisugkigami (生漉き紙) or Kigami (生紙) : the paper without additives [1.5]
  • Kohitsu (古筆): ancient calligraphy [2.1]
  • Koyori (紙縒り): a paper string [1.9]
  • kōzo (楮): paper mulberry. Broussonetia kazinoki Sieb. , family Moraceae. General term for a variety of paper making mulberries; characterized by strong, sinewy and long fibers. [1.7],[1.8],[1.12],[1.15],[1.16]
  • Kōzo (楮) fibers: Kōzo fibers are longer than gampi and mitsumata fibers. They give a very white paper. [1.16]
  • Kozogami (楮紙), choshi paper: thin, strong paper made from vegetable fibers see wikipedia [1.3],[1.6],[1.15],[1.16]
  • Kumogami (雲紙) : cloud-patterned paper. A paper with a cloud design. Used for long, narow tanzaku and swuare shikishi poetry cards. A decorating technique of overlaying dyed fibers in a cloud design on the top and bottom part of the wet sheet. There are many varitations of the technique.(“cloud-patterned paper”) [2.10],[2.11],[2.14],[2.15]
  • Kyoto (京都): Kyoto is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. see wikipedia [2.10]


  • Maniaigam, Maniaishii (間似合紙): (literally, “makeshift paper”) Paper made by adding clay or other mineral to gampi fibers. Because of its sturdiness, it was used for such items as sliding doors (fusuma) and ornamental folding screens (byōbu). In books, it was to make “Nara ehon” (Muromachi-period illustrated books) [1.7]
  • marbling: see suminagashi
  • Marco Polo: An Italian merchant, explorer, and writer, born in the Republic of Venice. see wikipedia [2.15]
  • Mashi (麻紙): Paper made from hemp. In Japan, ramie hemp is the primary material. [1.6]
  • mica: A group of sheet silicate minerals [1.5] [2.15],[2.16],[2.17],[2.18]
  • Mino gami (美濃紙): A generic term for handmade paper washi produced in Mino (Gifu prefecture) c.f. Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System [1.8]
  • Mitsumata (三椏): Edgeworthia papyrifera Sieb. et Zucc., family, Thymelaeaceae, genus Edgeworthia. Characterized by fine-grainedm softm pliant and lustrous fibers. [1.6],[1.8],[1.9],[1.12]
  • Mitsumata (三椏) fibers: Fibers of Edgeworthia chrysantha, known as Mitsumata, a plant used in making Japanese paper see wikipedia [1.16]
  • Mitsumata-gami (三椏紙): Paper made from the fibres of mitsumata 三椏 (edgeworthia papyrifera). The mitsumata bush, native to China, was brought to Japan during the Edo period for use in papermaking. c.f. Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System [1.6]
  • Mizutamagami (水玉紙): Mizutamagami is decorated by applying a fine layer of colored paper (often blue) to a white sheet. Drops of water splashed onto the blue paper make holes in the upper sheet to reveal the white base. c.f. Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System [2.12],[2.14]
  • moso bamboo (Chinese mao zhu, 孟宗竹): a temperate species of giant timber bamboo native to China and Taiwan and naturalised elsewhere, including Japan where it is widely distributed south of Hokkaido. see wikipedia [1.16],[1.20]
  • murasaki (紫草): Purple flower [2.5]
  • murasaki plant (紫草): Purple plant. Boraginaceae , perennial plants. Its root is used for dyeing. [2.3]
  • Muromachi period (室町時代): a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573 see wikipedia [1.3],[1.7] [2.10],[2.15],[2.17],[2.19],[2.20],[2.23]


  • Nagashizuki (流し漉き): Discharge papermaking. “Nagasu” is the verb meaning to let flow or run. Literally translated “fiber flow papermaking medhod”. This papermaking medhod is characterized by ejecting excess pulpstock from the mold made possible by the use of Neri. In other words, Nagashizuki is done by repeatedly filling the mold and keeping the solution moving until one tosses out the final amount(Discharge papermaking). [1.6],[1.11],[1.12]
  • Nara period (奈良時代): A period in Japan (710-794 CE) [2.4],[2.5],[2.7],[2.23]
  • Neri: Genela term for the various kinds of vegetable mucilage used in Washi, such as that extracted from the Tororo-aoi root. [1.6],[1.11],[1.12]
  • nikawa (膠) : An organic adhesive made from animal sources. A transparent or semi-transparent animal glue, used as a binder baizai 媒剤, and an adhesive. c.f. Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System [2.15],[2.16],[2.17]
  • Nishiki (錦): Brocade. General term for embroidered silk. The earliest examples date from the 5th century; produced in Japan since the Nara period (710-794 CE). [2.23]
  • Nishinouchi paper (西の内紙, Nishinouchi gami): A special Kozo paper encouragent by the Mito clian and the name is derived from the locate of production, Nishinouchi, Ibaraki. 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). [1.8],[1.9]
  • Nori-utsugi (糊空木): Hydrangea paniculata, Sieb., grows to height of 6-10 ft, deciduous tree of the Saxi-fragaceae family. Inner bark used to make Neri mucilage. [1.12]


  • ōbaku or Kihada (黄檗): ōbaku or Kihada (Phellodendron amurense) commonly called Amur Cork tree – used in paper for sutras and religious texts. Its bitter flavor is thought to repel insects. [2.3],[2.5]
  • Osaka (大阪): a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants. see wikipedia [2.20]


  • Pan Jixing: The eminent historian of Chinese science who defines “paper” in his book. [1.4]
  • Panicled Hydrangea: One of the more cold-hardy species of hydrangea. [1.12]
  • Paper mulberry (kōzo): a species of flowering plant in the family Moraceae. It is native to Asia, where its range includes China, Japan, Korea, Indochina, Burma, and India. see wikipedia [1.7],[1.8],[1.12],[1.15],[1.16]
  • Paper Museum in Oji, Tokyo: Museum dedicated to paper, its history and diffusion through the world. [1.19],[1.20],[1.21]
  • papyrus: a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface. It was made from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge see wikipedia [1.4]
  • Parchment: a writing material made from specially prepared untanned skins of animals—primarily sheep, calves, and goats. see wikipedia [1.4],[1.9],[1.19]
  • persimmon extract(柿渋, kakishibu): extract from persimmon, the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros. [2.3],[2.6],[2.7]
  • phloem fibers: plant fibre collected from the phloem (the “inner bark”, sometimes called “skin”) or bast surrounding the stem of certain dicotyledonous plants. see wikipedia [1.15]



  • ra (羅) or usuginu : silk gauze [2.23]
  • Ramie (choma): perennial plant from the nettle family. Its long fibers can be woven into thread to make fabric. When used to make paper, they are cut. [1.12],[1.16]
  • Ramie fiber: Ramie fibers are very long and most appear to be cut. Compared to other fibers they are wider and shaped like a ribbon. Paper made from them is very white but the surface is rough. [1.16]
  • Ramonshi (羅紋紙): “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 exsted during the Heian period (710-794) but this gorgeous technique died out later and attempts to revive this paper continue. [2.11]
  • Retting: a process employing the action of micro-organisms and moisture on plants to dissolve or rot away much of the cellular tissues and pectins surrounding bast-fibre bundles, and so facilitating separation of the fibre from the stem see wikipedia [1.20]
  • rōsen (蝋箋): wax-rubbed paper [2.19]


  • Sha (紗): Sha is a fine screen, usually silk gause; placed on top of a su to produce fine thin paper. [1.15]
  • shitae (下絵): Under-pictures. Prior to writing on them, the pages of traditional books were often decorated with painted motifs such as birds, plants, etc. using gold or silver paint (kindei and gindei). Because the motifs appear “under” the written text they are called shita-e (“under-pictures”). [2.22]
  • Shukushi (宿紙): Re-used paper [1.7],[1.13]
  • The Shōshi or “dipping” method (抄紙法): the fibers are placed in a vat filled with water and distributed evenly; then they are scooped up using a flexible screen (su). [1.11]
  • Song dynasty (960-1279): an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and continued until 1279. It was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. see wikipedia [2.17]
  • storehouse paper (okuragami,御蔵紙): Paper stored in provincial storehouses. [1.20]
  • Su (簀): Flexible screen, usually bamboo but sometimes miscanthus that acts as a sieve or strainer upon which the paper sheet is formed. [1.11]
  • suminagashi (墨流し, marbling), literally “ink-spreading” consists in floating dots of ink on water and gently working them to create interesting patterns [2.8],[2.9]
  • su-no-me (簀の目): The sunoko leaves horizontal line marks on the paper [1.11],[1.15],[1.18]
  • Sugeta (簀桁): Papermaking mold;combi-nation of su(screen) and keta(frame). [1.11]
  • Suibaragami or Suibaragami (杉原紙): 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. [1.7]
  • Sukibune (漉き舟): paper-making vat [1.11],[1.13],[1.20]
  • Sukikaeshi (漉き返し): a kind of recycled paper. In the Edo-period, sukikaeshi paper substances other than plant fibers were used to make the pulp [1.7]
  • Sukizome (漉き染め): The process of adding the coloring pigment directly to the pulp during the sheet-forming process [2.4],[2.5],[2.9]
  • Suku (漉く): To make paper; as a prefix, the same character is read suki and as a suddix, -zuki. [1.11]
  • Shukushi (宿紙): 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 latters of the deceased and recycled paper for daily use. [1.7]
  • shikishi (色紙): a square piece of high-quality paperboard for writing a poem on [2.22]
  • sunagogami (砂子紙): a paper using gold leaf, silver leaf and mica [2.15],[2.18]


  • Tam-jing (known in Japanese as Donchō): a Buddhist monk from the Korean kingdom of Goguryeo [1.19],[1.20]
  • Tamezuki(溜め漉き): Accumulation papermaking. “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 settlinf papermaking method”. The ancient. original technique of scooping fibers, in which sheets are formed quickly and without use of mucilage by allowing the pulp stock to draing 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. [1.6],[1.11]
  • tanzaku (短冊): strips of hard paper on which poets would inscribed the poems that they composed. [2.10],[2.12],[2.22] tea ceremony (sadō, 茶道): The Japanese tea ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (抹茶), powdered green tea. see wikipedia [2.23]
  • The Travels of Marco Polo: Book of the Marvels of the World (French: Livre des Merveilles du Monde) or Description of the World (Devisement du Monde), in Italian Il Milione (The Million) or Oriente Poliano and in English commonly called The Travels of Marco Polo, is a 13th-century travelogue written down by Rustichello da Pisa from stories told by Marco Polo, describing Polo’s travels through Asia between 1271 and 1295, and his experiences at the court of Kublai Khan. see wikipedia [2.15]
  • timber: [1.15]
  • tobikumogami (飛雲紙): floating cloud paper。Paper patterned (sukimoyogami) with clouds. [2.11],[2.14]
  • 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, and also known as Aibika plant. [1.10],[1.11],[1.12]
  • Toyotomi Hideyoshi: 豊臣秀吉 (1537-1598) warrior leader and senior regent to the emperor in the late 16th c. [2.20]
  • Tsugigami (継紙): A method of paper decoration ryoushi soushoku 料紙装飾. Two or more sheets of paper of different color and/or quality are joined together to make one sheet, to create various decorative effects including an impression of depth. c.f. Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System [1.5]
  • tsukezome (漬け染め) or hitashizome (浸し染め): “dip-dyeing” and “soak-dyeing” [2.4],[2.5],[2.9]


  • Uchigami (打ち紙): A paper optimaized for writing, entire sheet was hammered with a wooden mallet [1.5],[1.7],[1.8],[1.16]
  • Uchigumorigami (内曇紙) or Kumogami (雲紙): A decorative technique of calligraphy paper with an overlay of dyed fibers lying like a strech 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 orverlay 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. [2.10]
  • ukiyoe (浮世絵) : pictures of the floating world. Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of such subjects as female beauties; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica. see wikipedia [2.16],[2.20],[2.26]
  • unmo or kira (雲母) : The mica group of sheet silicate (phyllosilicate) minerals includes several closely related materials having nearly perfect basal cleavage. [2.16]
  • Utamaro (歌麿): Kitagawa Utamaro (喜多川歌麿), Japanese artist in Edo period, He is one of the most highly regarded designers of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings [2.26]



  • waka (和歌): a type of poetry in classical Japanese literature. Waka are composed in Japanese, and are contrasted with poetry composed by Japanese poets in Classical Chinese, which are known as kanshi. see wikipedia [1.1],[1.12] [2.7],[2.10],[2.16],[2.22]
  • wasei karakami (和製唐紙): Japan-made Chinese paper [2.17]
  • watermarks: A watermark is an identifying image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light (or when viewed by reflected light, atop a dark background), caused by thickness or density variations in the paper. see wikipedia [1.15],[1.18]



  • yaburitsug (破り継ぎ): “tear and join” technique [2.13]
  • yakie (焼き絵): branded pictures [2.19]
  • Yoshinogami (吉野紙): A thin Kozo paper made in Nara which is most suitable for lacquer filration. [1.8]


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The Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books

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