Make a paper vol.2
He had reached a small island country, with nothing but wearing only the clothes, furthermore, without understanding the language, from the Netherlands. He then visited Washi Studios all over Japan.
A piece of paper invited a young man to Japan far away from the Netherlands.
In a lot of paper samples, only one paper with a strange feeling that he had never seen had been mixed. What was it? Although he asked everyone, nobody knew it. Ultimately, it was a paper made in Japan, and that’s all that he could find. He strongly desired to see how to make this paper. He would like to know what this paper is all about. Just merely for that, but for a straightforward reason, the young man managed to reach Japan from the Netherlands via the Siberian Railway. It was over 40 years ago.
Rogier Uitenboogaart. Mr. Rogier’s Washi Studio is located in Yusuhara, Kōchi. Yusuhara, which is a Mountain range situated between Ehime and Kōchi, has abundant natural spring water flowing from Shikoku Karst and Mt. Ishizuchi. Water is an essential key for Washi. Without proper water, excellent papers cannot be generated.
It is said that “Paper made with the right manufacturing method can maintain its quality even after many years.” The approach begins with growing plants, which are the raw materials for Washi, completely pesticide-free, and only using spring water. The paper, which is made using traditional techniques with plants grown in the beautiful water and rich climate, has full of unique brightness and transparency.
He had reached a small island country, with nothing but wearing only the clothes, furthermore, without understanding the language, from the Netherlands. He then visited Washi Studios all over Japan. He could not understand Japanese so that he has started intuitively learning how to make Washi by literally “sense” it. Just feels, not think in his brain. Just look and remember. He had rapidly absorbed the secrets of Washi with his inherent observation power, curiosity, and outstanding sense.
At that time, Washi manufacturing was popular in Japan, and there were a lot of craftsmen with superior ability and skill. After visiting through several craft centers, Mr. Rogier’s later direction was determined by a word that he took at a Shimane Prefecture’s studio. “If you want to make Washi, you should produce it from raw materials.”
Where can he make the raw materials? There is in Kōchi Prefecture, so you should go there ー the youth from the Netherlands, fascinated with a piece of the paper, goes toward Kōchi as followed their words. Thus, he began his life as a craftsman.
- PhotosYoshiyuki Mori
- WordsAtsuko Ogawa
- DesignNoriaki Hosaka
- Translation Mina Ishikawa