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Description

Washi sample mounted horizontally on white, labelled and folded paper with 3-pointed leaf above scrolled 'm' watermark. Rectangular dyed sample with lighter fibres. Very faint widely spaced vertical lines. Top and left edges are cut straight; bottom and right edges retain irregular deckle. Mounting paper folds from left over part of sample.

History Of Use

Papermaking originated on the Asian mainland and spread to Japan by 1500 years ago. For centuries Japan has produced the greatest quantity and variety of handmade paper or washi in the world. Traditionally, papermaking was a family or community enterprise which thrived in mountain farming communities where cold, pure water and wild bast fibre shrubs, such as mulberry, are plentiful. Washi is an important cultural symbol and holds a place in nearly every aspect of Japanese life. It is also a significant aspect of both Shinto and Buddhist rites and customs. Goshikibosho paper is thick paper dyed in 5 colours. These 5 sheets make a set. According to Dr. Yusho Tukushi, the oldest extant examples were made in the Genroku era (1688-1703) or earlier. The colours included in this set changed through time. Originally blue, red, yellow, white, and black comprised the set. Later green may replace blue or purple replace black.

Narrative

This is part of the Tesukiwashi Taikan, a collection of handmade paper published, in an edition of 1000 copies, in Tokyo as a project to commemorate the centennial of Mainchi Newspapers and to preserve Japanese handmade paper. A collection on this scale had not been made before. This collection consists of 5 boxes of mounted and labelled samples with an explanatory book in 4 of the boxes. The text is in Japanese and with less detail, in English. Compiled and edited by a special editorial staff of scholars. Published by the Mainchi Newspapers of Tokyo, Japan.

Cultural Context

sample

Item History

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