Legend has it that some 1,500 years ago, a beautiful princess came to the village of Okatagawa and taught the people there how to make paper. In the Nara period (710-794) the paper was highly respected for the copying of Buddhist sutras. Then, when paper began to be used in large quantities by the warrior class, some very high quality papers such as Echizen Hosho were produced in large amounts and using improved techniques. It was then that the Shogunate and feudal lords gave this paper producing area their patronage and further developments were made. In more recent times many artists including the famous painter, Taikan Yokoyama, have favored Echizen papers, which are well known throughout the country.
Epitomizing Japanese culture, Echizen papers have an almost indescribable richness and quality springing from their strength and suppleness, while also having a fine surface quality full of warmth and texture that only handmade paper boasts. The range of papers is immense including fine art papers, printing papers and some for the printing of woodblock prints. Others are made for calligraphy, envelopes and writing paper. Exclusive papers are also made for diplomas and a fine translucent paper is produced for the sliding screens or shoji of the traditional house. Today, the ancient traditions of this paper are being sustained by 26 government recognized Master Craftsmen among the total of 228 staff employed by the 43 firms favored with the task of producing these handmade papers.
- Fukui-ken Japanese Paper Industrial Cooperative
- 11-11 Otaki, Imadate-cho,
Imadate-gun, Fukui Prefecture
Website : http://www.washi.jp/