hon (Book)

About this object

History of use

Papermaking originated on the Asian mainland and spread to Japan by 1500 years ago. For centuries Japan has produced the greatest quantity and variety of handmade paper or washi in the world. Traditionally, papermaking was a family or community enterprise which thrived in mountain farming communities where cold, pure water and wild bast fibre shrubs, such as mulberry, are plentiful. Washi is an important cultural symbol and holds a place in nearly every aspect of Japanese life. It is also a significant aspect of both Shinto and Buddhist rites and customs.


List of authors: Daiinshu, Seishi K.K.; Seishijo, Iwano; Etchushisha; Kogyokai, Gifuken Bijitsushi; Tange, Tetsuo; Seisijio, Sakamoto. This is part of the Tesukiwashi Taikan, a collection of handmade paper published, in an edition of 1000 copies, in Tokyo as a project to commemorate the centennial of Mainchi Newspapers and to preserve Japanese handmade paper. A collection on this scale had not been made before. This collection consists of 5 boxes of mounted and labelled samples with an explanatory book in 4 of the boxes. The text is in Japanese and with less detail, in English. Compiled and edited by a special editorial staff of scholars. Published by the Mainchi Newspapers of Tokyo, Japan.

Cultural context

collection guide

Physical description

Book of essays on Japanese handmade paper. Cover is in two sheets of crinkled light yellow-brown paper faced with light red paper. Pages have folded edges to outside; free edges and cover are bound in Japanese style by yellow thread through four holes. Cloth reinforcements at bound corners. White label printed in black and red Japanese characters on front cover for Japanese text; opens left to right to reveal white lacey page. There is no label on other cover which opens right to left for the English text.