What Materials Are used For Kami-no-Shigoto’s Mino Washi?
Mizu Uchiwa, Water Fan
Mizu Uchiwa, or Water Fans, evolved from Gifu Prefecture’s rich river culture. They boast a waterlike transparent beauty, and cool you via evaporation having been dipped in cold water.
At Kami-no-Shigoto, we begin product development with Japanese Washi paper. The Washi paper used for Mizu Uchiwa, for example, is produced by two of Mino’s finest craftsmen, Kenji Sawaki and Makoto Kurata, who are skilled at making ultra-thin ganpi-shi Washi paper. These two craftsmen can produce the thinnest of Japanese paper, while retaining practical strength in order to create the beautiful transparency imperative for water fans.
Go-shuin-Cho, Red Seal Book
The Go-shuin-Cho, or Red Seal Book, is a special booklet in which to collect special red seal stamps from Japanese shrines and temples as a visit memorial or as a lucky charm. The concertina-like books are made of quality Washi, and bound in Fukurotoji style. The collected red seal stamps are often used as room decorations too.
Takeshi Kano and Yuki Matsuo are the two Japanese craftsmen responsible for much of the production of the Washi paper used by Kami-no-Shigoto. The paper crafted by Takeshi Kano is called “Mino Sanno-Shi”. The three main raw materials used are the bark of the kozo mulberry bush, mitsumata oriental paper bush, and the ganpi, Winter Daphne. Kozo mulberry fibers produce a courser fiber base that enhances the fibers of the mitsumata, while the concentration of finer pulped ganpi Winter Daphne, fibers fill the minute gaps and creates a high-density paper that is thin, smooth and prevents writing ink from smearing or bleeding through the page. Another line developed to make hand-made Mino Washi red seal books at more reasonable prices is made from Japanese Washi paper created by Yuki Matsuo. Left over kozo mulberry pulp from paper production is collected and reused to reduce costs.
The WASHI dECO series is a patterned Japanese Washi paper produced in collaboration with Hoki Kobo and Ieda Paper Industries Co., Ltd., making it possible to express elaborately molded washi.
The production of patterned Washi paper requires a special mold created by Ieda Paper Works, while Hoki Kobo is in charge of making the paper itself. By providing each other with manufacturing information feedback, they have created Japanese patterned paper with unprecedented delicate expression.
The patterned Japanese paper produced by Hoki Kobo is used in the WASHI dECO window decoration series, such as the popular SNOWFLAKE and NATURE + series, which can be applied to glass windows simply with water.
Hon-Mino-shi Washi paper accessories are made by Makoto Kurata and Minako Ieda. Hon-Mino-shi is a traditional Japanese paper made in accordance with techniques designated as a National Important Intangible Cultural Property in 1969, and also registered as a UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage item in 2014. There are strict rules for the production of this Japanese paper, and as of January 2018, only five members of the Hon-Mino-shi Preservation Society, including Kurata and Ieda, are approved to make true Hon-Mino-shi Japanese paper.
Hon-Mino-shi paper features the attractive properties of Nasu Kozo mulberry and is fine enough to be able to transmit light. This paper is also recognized as being an excellent source paper for the Japanese art of Origami. Kami-no-Shigoto is currently producing a range of Hon-Mino-shi paper and original origami accessories. Using this quality Mino paper, delicate transparent origami with beautiful, clean creases can be created.
At the Hand-made Mino Washi Studio, “Corsoyard”, master craftsman Kenji Sawaki and origami master, Yuga Arisawa, are pursuing the perfection of beautifully finished Japanese paper for origami.
Together, they have developed a transparent Japanese paper, "Origami Jewel Kingyo" (trade name) born from the optimal blend of mulberry and Winter Daphne bark pulp as raw materials. The Kingyo, or goldfish, folding method is an origami original devised by Corsoyard’s Yuga Arisawa.
Yuga Arisawa was apprenticed to Corsoyard in an effort to make Japanese paper that would satisfy his origami work. This particular Washi paper is also used for origami crane accessories designed by Hiroko Takahashi.
How to make Mino Washi
Free download link. You may download the file “How to make Mino Washi”. When using the file, please credit “Kuniyoshi Otaki & Kami-no-Shigoto”
For traceability, all Japanese Washi paper used in Kami-no-Shigoto products, including raw material contents and production details are retained.