Ise Paper Stencils

Although the history of these stencil papers dates back a very long way, no one is too sure as to actually when they were first made. However, it seems likely that they were already in existence at the end of the Muromachi period (1392-1573) because a contemporary painter called Kano Yoshinobu, depicted someone using a stencil in a painting called Shokunin-zukushi-e.
During the Edo period (1600-1868), the production of Ise Katagami developed with patronage from the Kishu clan over-seeing the areas corresponding to present-day Wakayama prefecture and the southern part of Mie prefecture.

It is these stencil papers which have traditionally been used in the dyeing of kimono cloth with family crests and patterns including those for yuzen, the light summer-weight kimono called yukata and the very fine overall patterns known as komon. In some cases today, however, these papers are used to make decorative objects in their own right.


Ise Katagami is traditional tool used to when dyeing kimono fabric to apply pictures and patterns for yuzen fabric, yukata fabric (summer kimono), and so on.

How to make

Ise Katagami use four carving methods. Hikibori: Uniform striped patterns are created by using a ruler pulling the carving blade towards the artist. Tsukibori: Five to eight stencil sheets are placed on a hole-filled stand called an anaban, and a blade is used to pierce the stencils to carve a pattern. Dogubori: The blades itself are made into shapes such as flowers, fans, diamonds, and more, which are used to carve out shapes. Kiribori: This is a technique used to create fine patterns such as the "same komon", "gyogi toshi", and "arare", using a blade with a half-moon tip.