Paper that keeps the writing intact even when wet
The history of Nishinouchi ”washi” goes back about 350 years.
Products utilizing this strength
As we were discussing the strength of the paper, Kikuchi brought a piece of ”washi”. As we wondered what he was about to do with it, he abruptly soaked it in water and started twisting it like a wet rag. Nakata was totally taken by surprise. Kikuchi handed the paper to Nakata and told him to stretch it by pulling on both ends forcefully. It didn’t tear nor break. He tried many times, but there were no signs of tearing. He pulled it so hard that it made a loud pang pang noise, and water splashed from the paper. It was like pulling on a piece of cloth. This is because two pieces of paper with the fiber running vertically was pasted, with another that had horizontally running fiber with glue made from ”konnyaku” (jelly-like food made from a type of potato). That gave them this extraordinary strength and waterproof quality.
The motivation from within.
We interviewed Masaki Kikuchi , a first class ”washi” master. We also interviewed the paper and clothes artist Sadako Sakurai who said that she can’t spin a thread unless its Kikuchi’s rice paper. Only Kikuchi can make paper that’s strong and sensitive at the same time, she testified.
Kikuchi now makes paper with his son. He never told his son to inherit this business, but like him, his son worked as an office worker for a while before he voluntarily said he wanted to make paper.” It makes a whole lot of difference to be told to do something and to do it as a result of the inner motivation and interest in the job. It is really up to one’s motivation. ”
- Masaki Kikuchi, Nishinouchi Washi Kamino Sato
- 90 Funyu, Hitachiomiya, Ibaraki Prefecture
- URL http://www.e-consul.info/iba/hom/kns/