Takenobu Tanino,  Najio gampi-shi paper, indispensable for restoration of national treasures

Takenobu Tanino,
Najio gampi-shi paper, indispensable for restoration of national treasures



No fading, no bugs

Najio-gampi-shi is Japanese ”washi” paper that is made by mixing mud. Mud makes paper robust, keeps the original color for years, and repels insects.
Najio-gampi-shi has been widely used for varied applications, such as folding screens, papered sliding doors, paper for gold foil making, and paper bills in the Edo Period. It used to be called ”maniai-gami” (handy paper) due to its general-purpose properties. In the Edo Period, Korin Ogata and other artists liked Najio-gampi-shi because colors were beautifully developed on the paper when pigments were applied, and gold foil dazzled on it. During the Showa Era, Ryuzaburo Umehara, the authority in Japanese oil painting, also liked to use the ”washi”.
The precious paper is frequently used by shrines and temples.
The paper produced by Takenobu Tanino at Tanitoku Seishisyo is used for restoring Important Cultural Properties including Nijo Castle, Nishi Hongan-ji, Katsura Imperial Villa and other Imperial villas in Nikko and Numazu. Today, their paper is indispensable for the restoration of National Treasures of Japan.

Production using mud and water of Najio

“Takenobu Tanino was designated as a living national treasure in 2002. There are only two traditional ”washi” making workshops in Najio, which used to be known as the paper making village and called ”najio senken” (meaning a thousand workshops in Najio). The other workshops specialize in the production of paper for foil making. Therefore, Tanino’s workshop is the only one that makes all types of Najio-gampi-shi.

In Najio, you can collect the unique mud of four different colors from the very hard bedrock. Mud is collected and filtered in a cotton bag. Only filtered fine mud is used for making paper, whose color depends on the shade of mud. Mud usually sinks in water. However, the mountain water of Najio helps mix pulp and water evenly.


Tanitoku Seishisyo
Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture