You may have heard of the term Washi, referring to a type of paper originating in China ...
You may have heard of the term Washi, referring to a type of paper originating in China ... What you may not know is the world behind it, its history, its uses, its meanings, so closely linked to culture Chinese first, then Japanese.
The word washi is made up of wa (和), "Japanese", and shi (紙), "paper". It therefore refers to Japanese paper made by hand according to the traditional method, derived from ancient Chinese art. Washi paper boasts over 1000 years of history and is produced using only specific materials and methods of the various production locations. For this reason, by slightly changing the production methods from one location to another, the characteristics with respect to the original paper model also vary accordingly. Traditionally it is produced using vegetable fibers from local plants such as Broussonetia papyrifera (KOZO), Edgeworthia chrysantha (MITSUMATA) and Diplomorpha sikokiana (GAMPI). According to Japanese culture, the first plant represents the male element with robust fibers, the second the delicate and soft female one and the third the noble, rich and long-lived one. Bamboo, hemp, rice and wheat fibers can also be used which give different characteristics to the paper.