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Yoshinao Sugihara   杉原吉直
Washi master            和紙士
Echizen Washi(Japanese paper) @Fukui prefeture

Yoshinao is 10th generation of family owned Washiya sugihara washipaper inc

He is a Washi producer in Echizen, also know as Washi sommelier and Washi curator.  A Washi Meister who not only handles sales of Echizen Washi but also actively works on introducing Washi to broader Japan and to the world.

Masahiro Nishino   西野正洋
Washi master       和紙士

Masahiro of Shinyosha 信洋舎, 5th generation washi artisan.

He makes washi by “tame-zuki” method which is fairly rare from general washi even in Echizen area.  The “Décor Washi” is one of his product which he creates.

Washiya Sugihara washipaper inc
The business of Washiya Sugihara washipaper opened their door in 1871,
they are elevating Echizen washi beyond the constraints of pre-held notions about Japanese paper.
Constantly striving to expand upon the already established ideas of what Japanese washi paper is, and how it can be used. More specifically, we are working to establish new areas of expression for Echizen washi, in order to build on its long tradition of over 1500 years. Utilizing our vast experience working with a wide network of highly creative craftspeople, designers and artists, we are encouraging the potential that Japanese paper holds for surprising and even previously unimaginable uses and applications, far beyond those normally associated with.
Guerlain Washi Tree Photo_0,33x.jpg
Show window display: Designed by Jorge Gessner
As a leading wholesaler of Japanese Paper, we intimately acquainted with the skills necessary to produce Echizen washi, along with the specialized local washi artisan.
The craftmenship has tradition for over 1500 years and hoping to cherish the asset to pass on to the next generation. We are honored to work with these special artisans to realize new possibilities for Echizen washi.
The shirine of Paper: Okamoto ohtaki jinja
紙の神                                      岡太・大瀧神社
Every May for the past 1,300 years the whole village where this shrine is located, holds a 3 day festival for the goddess of paper.
The innovation of Washi paper.
It’s a delicately crafted embossment, seemingly pressed with engraving plates.  But yet on the back, there are no dimples you would always find with regular embossing.  Hold it to the light, and voila, it looks like watermark that you would find on banknotes!  This is “Décor Washi” produced in Fukui prefecture, the home of Echizen Washi.  Of all the Décor Washi, those resembling black watermarks are called “Kuro Décor”.
This embossing is applied after hand making the paper so actually it is not a watermark.  But when you put it against the light, it really looks like black watermark. 
Look here at the right how impressive when the card changes
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The production process starts from hand making washi paper.
There are original composition of raw materials for Décor Washi.  Adding some cotton increases resilience of the paper.  The result is a paper that is rich in texture.
Instead of adopting Nagashi-zuki method commonly used in Japanese washi paper, this paper prefers Tame-zuki method in which you scoop the raw materials onto bamboo framed screen and wait for the moisture to drip down.  The embossing is then applied to these specially made washi paper.  The plate data is created using gray scale.  Thus even photographs can be used as embossing design.  The parts where black intensity is higher rises more compared to whiter parts with lower black intensity.
For photographs, stronger the contrast is, better the embossing finish will be.  When embossing the picture of someone’s face, if you just process the face against white background it becomes Décor Washi.  And when you process it against black background it becomes Kuro Décor.  It is all down to how human eyes process the contrast between the object and the background, but even with the same photograph the outcome looks very different depending on which background you use.
decor washi
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