Make a paper vol.4

The process of making papers are straightforward, but it is also an art itself.

Since a Washi (Japanese paper) craftsman in Shimane Prefecture taught him, Mr. Rogier has grown from plants as a craft source. Kouzo (Broussonetia papyrifera) and Mitsumata (Edgeworthia Chrysantha) are the base material of the paper, and Tororo Aoi(Abelmoschus Manihot) has a role in gluing the pieces together. He grows all at his studio in Yusuhara, Kōchi Prefecture. Water draws the natural water from the Mountain. Then, Kouzo and Mitsumata are soaked into this water to break the fiber. Plenty of water and these put in a bucket, and some natural glues squeezed from Tororo Aoi (Abelmoschus Manihot) mix and stir them. A wooden frame for paper-making is soaked and scooped up. And strain them using high transparency and purity mountains’ natural water again and again. After that, remove the paper from the wooden frame and drain the water. Then stick it on a board and dry it in the sun.

The process of making papers are straightforward, but it is also an art itself. Water, sunlight, wind, and plants for making-paper are born from this area’s nature and soil. Just as the taste of wine is expressed as “Terroir = the taste of the land” that symbolizes the area’s soil and climate, Washi is also the Terroir. The finish is entirely different depending on the land and the craftsman. Each has its beauty and texture.

Grow the soil and grow grapes ー there are the farmer’s thoughts and life are reflected, Washi also has its craftsman’s spirit and life. Therefore, you must feel Washi impress beyond words when you pick up Washi that is sincerely created while facing nature.

The ultimate handicraft has a power that can move a human’s heart quietly.

The impact when Mr. Rogier first met Washi in the Netherlands once maybe meant that he “touched” something essential of the Japanese climate and people living there, or it was an object, and he might have felt it as an existence beyond things.

  • PhotosYoshiyuki Mori
  • WordsAtsuko Ogawa
  • DesignNoriaki Hosaka
  • Translation Mina Ishikawa