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Washi used in all areas of daily life

In Japan, papermaking techniques spread to almost the entire country during the Edo period(1603–1868), and paper was used in all areas of daily life, not just books. Even today, the …

Let’s make Koyori

Let’s look at how koyori (paper strings) for binding fukurotojihon are made. In particular, let’s see how the inner binding of an old book is made with a koyori. As …

Fiber orientation and paper properties

Paper properties are affected not only by raw materials and the papermaking method, but also by the alignment of fibers, which is called “fiber orientation.” Here we’ll learn more about …

Various bookbinding styles

Let’s learn about book manufacturing from Ōiri Co., Ltd., a modern-day kyōji. First of all, what structures do books have? Let’s identify the different types of books and their binding …

Fabric book covers: kire

Book are not always made only of paper. Book covers, for instance, were often made of fabric. Kire (fragments) are scraps of ancient fabric. In the video, the following types …

Summary of Week 2

Week 2 will have given you an idea of the great variety of decorated papers used in traditional Japanese bookmaking. There are also many less common types of paper that …

Farewell from your educators

Now that you’ve made your way through the course we would like to thank you for staying with us until the end. Watch the video to see Professor Sasaki and …

The World of shita-e

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 …

Rōsen and yakie

Next, we look at other kinds of paper that, like karakami, originally came to Japan from China. To make rōsen (wax-rubbed paper), gubiki paper (see Step 2.14) is placed on …

Karaoshi (embossment)

Unlike regular karakami, in which the blocks are first smeared with paint and then pressed onto the paper, the designs are applied to the paper by pressing it against the …

Sunagogami and Hakuokigami

Although the techniques we have seen so far make use of dyes the main ingredient is still paper. We will now discuss decoration techniques in which mineral materials are mixed …

Kirabiki and Gubiki

In addition to gold and silver leaf, powdered mica (a transparent silicate called kira in Japanese) is also used as a material for paper decoration. When powdered mica is sprinkled …

Karakami

As our last example of paper decorated using minerals we look at karakami (Chinese-style paper). The word Karakami originally referred to paper imported from China (Kara = Cathay) but over …

Mizutamagami

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 …