Washi - Japanese Paper
In the winter of 1997, we had the honor of meeting and
spending a considerable amount of time with Mr. Hiroyuki Fukunishi. Mr. Fukunishi is one
of those rare individuals that you only read about. He has demonstrated Yoshino
papermaking to sixth graders and to the Emperor of Japan. He is a consultant to NHK on
papermaking and has been the advisor in several important movies that showed papermaking.
His expertise in the techniques of Yamato-udagami washi has resulted in his being
designated a living national treasure by the Japanese government.
I would like to write about our time with Mr. Fukunishi and have started the story with
the photos at Hiroyuki Fukunishi - Yoshino Papermaker.
I don't really know how to explain Washi and what it means to my art. I have had fun in
exploring and discovering Western papers. Actually that is not saying enough, I have
really found a lot of freedom and newness in Western paper and from this a whole new side
of my art has come alive. To be able to create with the papers of Virginia Sarsfield and
to discover a whole different papermaking paradigm is still breathtaking for me. And this
represents the new and the Western part of me.
Which is not to say that Washi is the old and Eastern part of Me! Washi is new. My
appreciation for Japanese paper is forever new and my deep respect for the artists who
make this paper is also forever new. Only recently did I learn that Alejandro D. Geiler is
making paper using Japanese techniques in Argentina. I was so thrilled to learn this that
I just had to create this special gallery dedicated to Washi. I also know that Mr.
Fukunishi will be thrilled to learn of this.
The Diplomas of Ryoma Elementary School -
In the papermaking village of Yoshino, just north of Nara, for every year for the last
twenty years Mr. Hiroyuki Fukunishi and Mr. Hirofumi Honsako have taught the graduating
class of Ryoma Elementary School to make their own graduation diplomas from the raising of
the Kozo to harvesting to making and dying the pulp. While this work is still under
construction, the photography documents the entire process.
The following books are available for purchase from
Papermaking : Traditions, Tools, and Techniques by Timothy Barrett
: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft by Dard Hunter
by Dard Hunter
Rare or Used Book Sources:
Rare Oriental Book Co. -
If you want a book that has anything to do with the Orient, then this is the only place to
go. J. G. Stanoff will offer you every topic under the sun and have hundreds of books for
each topic. Amazing is the only word to describe this site and this service.
- An excellent overview of papermaking in Kansai area of Japan today. See Mr. Fukunishi
and the diplomas being made at
Kansai's handmade washi
made paper - Alejandro D. Geiler is a papermaker in Argentina
Virginia G. Sarsfield - Exquisite Western-style handmade papers
The Robert C. Williams American Museum
Washi Maker -
Aiko's Art Materials Import, Inc.
3347 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
TEL: (773) 404-5600
The Japanese Paper Place
887 Queen St W
Toronto Ontario, Canada M6J 1G5
TEL: (416) 703-0089
FAX: (416) 703-0163
Handmade Paper & Papermaking Supply
POB 413, Brookston, IN 47923
TEL: (317) 563-3119
c/o True Blue Art
100 Charlotte Street
Asheville, NC 28801
TEL: (828) 251-0028
FAX: (828) 251-0306