The History of Washi Papermaking
Making washi from naturally grown paper mulberry using the water of the
Kurotani River are the conditions for producing a high-quality product. The oldest surviving record on paper in Kurotani Village is the Kuyu Bunsho, which dates from 1593, the
2nd year of the Bunroku era. While they primarily
manufactured paper for necessary everyday items such as shoji doors and lanterns, from around 1789 to 1801, in the Kansei
era, locals improved their papermaking craft in order to sell to Kyoto.
Villagers made paper used in kimonos, such as kimono wrapping paper, price tag
paper and shibufuda paper.
In line with developments in
silkworm farming since the Meiji period, paper was also manufactured for use in
cocoon bags. Papermaking has prospered as the main industry in Kurotani since
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