Honor’s College Freeman Research Journal


Kei Takahashi

Date of Award

Fall 12-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Tanya Allen


Washi is a Japanese handmade paper which has very long traditions. There are many types of washi in Japan but there are three main types of paper which are the kozo, mitsumata, and gampi paper. Kozo paper is made of mulberry fibers and the most well-known and has the highest production in Japan. Mitsumata and Gampi paper are made of tree of daphne fibers but the process of these two papers are different and Gampi paper is the highest quality of paper compared to the other two types papers. Before washi was created, the handmade paper originally came from China. China made Mashi, is a paper made of hemp. Then, the culture of papermaking was exported to Japan and Japanese papermakers created their own style of paper which is the washi. At first, Japanese papermakers used hemp, but it is difficult to handle it so during Heian period from 794 to 1192, they tried to use mulberry fibers and created kozo paper that became the most well-known paper in Japan. After that, papermakers tried to create many types of papers, There are 47 regions in Japan and there are around 35 regions that have 1 their own style and history of papermaking. The process of papermaking takes around 12 steps includes boiling, beating, arranging, squeezing, stretching, and drying and takes a very long time. These processes turns the fibers into sheets of paper. The ingredients of paper is made of three main compounds, cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. The main compound is cellulose which is the same organic compound used in cotton and rayon as well. For Japanese paper conservation, one important technique is to make a drying board is called Karibari in Japanese and is one of the tools used in the process of mounting Japanese screen and scroll paintings. Karibari have a structure similar to folding screens and consists of a wood lattice core covered with seven or eight layers of different types of papers.



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