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As our final example of decoration applied at the sheet-forming stage we look at mizutama-gami or “polka dots paper”.

Mizutamagami is made by adding a thin layer of indigo or purple dyed paper to an existing sheet of paper. Before it dries, water droplets are dropped from above and their impact creates the water drop pattern from which the paper takes its name. In contrast to the three types we looked at earlier, there are no examples of this style before the 17th century, so the technique is likely to have been invented at that time. Since it is not really suitable to be used as writing paper, mizutamagami is easier to find on covers, colored paper, or tanzaku paper strips.

Please watch the video to look at some actual examples.

A book introduced in the video

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The Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books

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