Sunday, December 03, 2023

Awagami Papers



The history of Awa washi dates back to 1300 years ago, Inbe-zoku, one of the influential clans served the Emperor came to Awa (now known as the Tokushima prefecture) planted hemp and kozo to promote the production of paper and cloth, recording their activities in ancient documents called Kogoshui(807 A.D.).

Since then, by revering the ancestor of Inbe clans, Amenohiwashinomikoto, the technique of papermaking has been carried onto the present days.

Awa Washi and Fujimori Family

Since the late 1700, the Fujimori family has kept the tradition of Awa Washi, Japanese papermaking. The papermaking of Washi was commercialized by Chozo Fujimori, the head of sixth generation, and it was passed onto Minoru Fujimori, the seventh generation leader of Awa Washi.

In 1976, Awa Washi was designated as an Intangible Cultural Property of Tokushima Prefecture. Minoru was also selected as Master Craftsman and awarded the medal for Technical Excellence by the Japanese Ministry of Labor. Later, the tradition was taken over by Yoichi, the eighth generation, and he opened a new possibility of Washi by starting the production of machine made paper while maintaining a production technique of hand made paper.

In 1989, the Hall of Awa Japanese Handmade Paper was established as a non-profit museum, and it offers a work space and possibilities in creation with Awa Washi to the artists from the worldwide.

Papermakers in 1940's. At Fuji Paper Mills Cooperative.