Sekishu WashiSekishu Paper

In "Engi era expression (engishiki) written in the Heian era," the name of Iwami comes up.
According to "the papermaking treasure note (butterfly broom to chew, and to like) published late in the Edo era," it is written down saying "papermaking (we do) kio told people when Hitomaro Kakinomotono got work of the protection in country of Iwami in the Nara era". For approximately 1,300 years, Sekishu Washi has been continued making. It is hardly primary occupation thing performed as side business now, and the making of Washi Paper is performed in skills and techniques which does not change in all ages continuously at the start.

While mention is made of Sekishu in the Engishiki, a Heian period (794-1185) document on court protocol, a more direct reference to paper is made in the Kamisuki Chohoki, a ""A Manual of Papermaking"" published in 1798. It says that when a Kakinomotono Hitomaro went to take up the post of protector in the province of Iwami (Shimane prefecture), he taught the people there how to make paper.
Sekishu Washi has been made unceasingly for about 1,300 years. In the early days it was made by farmers in their spare time but gradually became a specialized job of work and today, paper is still being made using the same skills and techniques as of old.

Handmade papers differ slightly depending on the plant fiber source. The long fibers of kozo paper make it really strong and supple. Also beautifully pliant is mitsumata paper which is taught and has a slight luster. Even more pliant is ganpi paper which is glossy and is not preferred by hungry insects. Produced in large quantities, kozo paper was used in the past for ledgers by merchants, who were quick to throw them down their wells if a fire broke out, knowing the paper was strong enough to withstand a dousing. These days paper is made for shoji screens, calligraphy paper, letter paper, envelopes and postcards, and business cards and many other things that all retain a distinctive character.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Paper making is thing by the next technique or technique.

    Thing by "we drain creation of dried laver" or "we save creation of dried laver."

    Mat use thing bamboo or made of mosquito net.

    "We work out" use hibiscus.

    Drying is thing by "board airing" or "iron plate drying".

    Raw materials

    Assume main material paper mulberry, paper bush or Lychnis coronata.


  • Work scenery

    Process 1: Raw materials steaming (genryomushi)

    Raw materials Paper mulberry (ask), mitsumata (three-pronged), unsized silk paper (gampi). Be prepared to around 1 meter and harvest those raw woods and steam with method of "bamboo steamer steaming" by steam to be easy to work with a small number of people. In this way, tree core and the epidermis become easy to come off.

    Process 2: Boletopsis leucomelas sozori (kurokawasozori)

    After dipping into water for approximately half day after stripping off Boletopsis leucomelas, and having let you naturally dry, and having softened, we pick up on the sozori stand and sharpen the epidermis with kitchen knife carefully one by one.

    Process 3: Dish simmered in carefully (shajuku)

    After washing with water, and having dropped impurities, we pour water into stewed pot and put soda ash of 12% for quantity of water and can enter while untying raw materials after the boiling. And we upset not to be able to do irregularity up and down every 30 minutes and boil for approximately two hours. And we steam.

    Process 4: Beat

    We wash raw materials which we have finished boiling carefully one by one in Shimizu and we pick up raw materials on the hard tree board and we swat elaborately and crush fiber with stick of oak afterwards. "It gives back six all through six" in here Iwami, and right and left six commutes by no method, and it is basic that return six times of top and bottom.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 5: Kazuko (we do number)

    We make and put water and wood pulp, hibiscus in the ship and mix equally. Make quickly, and scoop wood pulp of ship, is form zukemasu in sum recto in "mat (do)" whole.

    Process 6: Condition (we do butterfly)

    We scoop wood pulp relatively deeply and let fiber intertwine with each other while taking condition back and forth and make layer of Washi Paper. Thickness varies according to the number of times.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 7: Discharge (we throw away and do not see)

    We wield extra water and wood pulp left on "mat" at a stretch and throw away if it becomes objective thickness.

    Process 8: Paper floor transference (kamitokoutsushi)

    After having drained off water, Washi Paper on "mat" which makes, and was put up moves to paper floor stand. We put on paper floor stand one by one.

    Process 9: Drying (kanso)

    We tear off one by one and stick shitsukami on dried board of gingko nut using brush and dry the dried board by the sun afterwards.

    Process 10: Sorting (farewell gift)

    We sort dried Washi Paper for hand elaborately one by one. We remove thickness, irregularity, tear, scar, dust.


  • Close-up

    Sekishu Washi to match pace with nature, and to make

    For approximately 1,300 years, making paper by hand Washi Paper was continued making in here Iwami (Iwami) district and has been protected. "Iwami standard size Japanese paper" prepared by technique, technique succeeded by ancient people catches designation of important intangible cultural asset of country in 1969.


    Confidence absolute in quality

    Most "Iwami standard size Japanese paper" of production is made using high quality Paper mulberry cultivated in hometown and it is minute and is tough and is Washi Paper with luster. Osaka merchant used Iwami standard size Japanese paper for account book, and threw into well quickly, and planned preservation at the time of fire once; drink, and the quality is evaluated historically.
    We heard story from technique of the Sekishu Washi, Master of Traditional Crafts which conveyed technique in now, Yasuichi Kubota (kubotayasuichi).

    Yasuichi Kubota who matched pace with nature, and lived

    Cheerful craftsman of 55 made with Sekishu Washi

    Kubota was born in 1924. We do papermaking in papermaking ground on day of coverage and move energetically when we confirm progress of work in drying ground, and age does not let you feel at all.
    "There were many people who discontinued Washi Paper in this ground from Gane, that time when I began this work in earnest after the end of the war. But we saw back figure of father all the time and would be brought up. Alternatively, we began work without thinking about anything. 55 years have passed in no time, too."
    It was craftsman, and would there not be trouble when we were taught work by father who was teacher? As for Kubota, "there was no technical attention for the question. As for the making of Washi Paper, knowledge to enter at ear is useful for nothing. Therefore there was not "net income steps" thing taught at all directly. We try and fail and get yelled at and are thing which gradually learns with body. Therefore he/she replied, we instructed my son in similar way with warm smile.
    "Work not to be fit for when we really like Washi Paper, and this work does not like crafting. Therefore it is gamigami gen utemoikannodesu. We pose patiently, and even one or two people protect technique and think that you should hand down."

    The making of envelope of Sekishu Washi (all handicraft)

    We study throughout the life simply because it is work that oneself stakes the life on

    Was there not difficulty during 55? For question called this Kubota "now person said, but was different in way of father and own way of thinking, and have quarrelled in old days. Sale of Washi Paper is left to wholesale dealer, and manufacturer like us is one which we bought which does not understand needs of market at all in those days. We did not know how much retail price in market was at all again what was demanded in market only by making paper. Then market research assumed that we did not go in individuals in 1952 and reclaimed market. As it was way that was aggressive for those days, we were done for village eight minutes for 2-3 years. But, as well as merely making paper, human being will be study until we die. We do not go how work that oneself stakes the life on changes in distribution if we do not study as craftsman either. If forget the spirit of self-advancement, craftsman is there; end. All the human beings were asked so about and felt that the body was tightened.
    It "is important the making of this Washi Paper "matches pace with nature" again, and to work. On seeing the complexion of raw materials which Nature gave to, we decide combination and the preparation and always thank water which is most suitable for the making of local Washi Paper. Raw materials are water all local blessings of nature, too. The preparation delicately changes by temperature, humidity of each day. He/she talked about own work humbly saying I live to pace of nature.
    Master of Traditional Crafts is craftsman who continues protecting traditional technique and opens up the times in the field and may be in people who coexisted with Nature.


    We do representative appliance and the Kingdom of Bhutan and introduction of friendship interchange to use for papermaking in Sekishu Washi production.

    1.Creation of dried laver figure (figure to like)
    Strong hinoki materials are used by water. Tool which sandwiches between suki kisuo, and draws raw materials, and moves back and forth or from side to side, and makes Washi Paper. There is each size depending on use.

    • Training instruction to member of training in Bhutan

    • Training instruction to member of training in Bhutan



Industrial art object name Sekishu Washi
Phonetic symbol Cough I who learn
Classification of industrial art object Washi Paper
Main product Shoji paper, Iwami standard size Japanese paper, envelope, letter paper (letter paper), postcard, business card
Main production area Shimane / Naka-gun Misumi town, Sakuraecho, Ochi-gun
The designation date April 11, 1989

Contact information

■local production associations

Sekishu Washi cooperative association
957-4, Misumichofuruichiba, Hamada-shi, Shimane
TEL: 0855-32-0353
FAX: 0855-32-2473

■Associated exhibit space, facility


As for the paper mulberry, fiber is the toughest for a long time. Paper bush is delicate, and there is elasticity, and is soft; is shiny. It is paper which is the most delicate, and Lychnis coronata is shiny, and resists harm of insect. Merchant ever uses paper mulberry with much production for account book and is reliable so that we throw in, and well was able to plan preservation at time of fire.

Mulberry paper is the toughest thanks to its long fibers. Mitsumata (edgeworthia chrysantha) paper is delicate and resilient and has a soft luster. Ganpi paper is the most delicate, has a glossy appearance and is resistant to insect damage. Widely-produced mulberry paper was once used by merchants for their account books and is so tough that in case of fires it could be safely thrown into the water without being damaged.

How to make

We use part called bast (jimpi) of plants such as paper mulberry, paper bush, Lychnis coronata for fiber to raw materials and we put soda ash and boil. In that way we give water which we dissolved made fiber in stickiness using viscous liquid of root of hibiscus. We can enter with tool which sandwiched mats (do) such as bamboo hurdle (is good at, and do) or sedge mat (return) between beams (figure) and "we drain and, to liquid of materials of completed paper, perform papermaking in technique called creation of dried laver". Sun drying and iron plate dry thing which makes, and went up and are completion.

The bast fiber collected from plants like mulberry, mitsumata (edgeworthia chrysantha), ganpi, etc., is mixed with soda ash and boiled. The water the fibers have been dissolved in is then made extra viscous by mixing in a mucilaginous material made from the roots of the tororo aoi (hibiscus). The paper is then made by a method called “nagashi-suki” whereby bamboo-netted tools called “takesu” and “kayasu” are used to stir the liquid the raw plants have been dissolved in. The process is completed by drying the paper in the sun or by means of iron plates.

Voice from production center

Sekishu Washi is Washi Paper which we can save made consistently by hand of craftsman full of human empathy using clean water using high quality raw materials in natural rich environment.