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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 …

How can I make a koyori?

A koyori is needed to hold together the bundles of paper that will become a book. The diverse types of washi each have their own characteristics, and at times washi …

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 …

5 different Japanese 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 …

A History of Fabric Book Covers

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 …

A History 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

Previous steps in the The Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books Course centre around decorating and dying techniques of simple paper. We will now discuss decoration techniques in …

Karakami

Another example of paper decorating techniques using minerals is called karakami (Chinese-style paper). Karakami The word Karakami originally referred to paper imported from China (Kara = Cathay) but over time …

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 …