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Tsukezome and hitashizome

Tsukezome and hitashizome

The method known as either tsukezome (dip-dyeing) or hitashizome (soak-dying) consists in adding color to the paper after it has dried and gives a particularly vibrant color.

Please watch the video to see examples of Buddhist texts decorated using this method.

Colored paper used for letters

In novels such as the famous Genji monogatari (Tale of Genji, early 11th century), we sometimes encounter situations in which the letters the characters exchange are written on beautiful, colored paper. In some cases, the paper is made of multiple layers of paper of different color. The color combination of the paper is closely connected to the dress coordination of the aristocracy in the Heian period. Color combinations were chosen according to the season and were named after the season. The influence of such sensitivity color on Japanese book decoration culture should be obvious.

Please look at the two books listed in the SEE ALSO section. Published in the 19th century, they describe how to appropriately combine colors. The images are available from the National Diet Library in Tokyo, Japan.

Books introduced in the video:

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The Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books

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