UCHIYAMA Gami (Papers)
In the early 17th century, a villager from Uchiyama visited the famous papermaking city of Mino to learn how to make paper. Upon returning home, he began making his own paper and, from these simple beginnings, the craft soon flourished. Over time, the techniques developed further, influenced by the heavy snowfall in the area.
Uchiyama paper is made exclusively from paper mulberry (kozo) wood, which is known for its strength and suppleness. The resulting paper is strong and supple, and also breaths and holds moisture well. The paper does not discolor in sunlight, making it ideal for shoji screens, and its durability makes it ideal for documents that need to be preserved.
Uchiyama paper is made primarily from kozo wood, the strongest material used to make washi paper, but no pulp is used. Paper made exclusively from kozo has superior strength, breathability and moisture-retention properties. It is ideal for use in shoji screens because it is durable and doesn't fade in sunlight. It is also perfect for long-term preservation.
How to make
There are around two dozen steps in producing Uchiyama paper, from harvesting the kozo trees to preparing and processing the raw materials, to making and drying the paper. Skill is an important factor in determining whether the final product will be of acceptable quality. Using the nagashi-zuki technique, the paper solution is scooped from extremely cold water, using a steady back-and-forth, left-to-right motion. Even the water used is given careful consideration.