Watch Japanese Craftsmen Make Traditional Washi Paper


For centuries, the Japanese have made a thick, fibrous paper called washi. (The word washi stems from wa, or "Japanese," and shi, meaning "paper.") It’s used in traditional arts, like origami, and can be found in everything from household goods to decorative objects to clothing.

The Kid Should See This recently posted the above video from filmmaker Kuroyanagi Takashi. He visited 18 washi workshops around Kyoto, Japan, and filmed craftsmen making the ancient material.

The process is long and detailed. Workers gather bush branches, and trim and soak them before removing their bark. Then, they separate the tough inner bark, clean it, and pound and stretch it into pulp. The fiber is added to a liquid solution and a fermented hibiscus root, and voila—the mix becomes a paste-like goo that's formed into paper onto a bamboo mesh screen, then laid out to dry in the sun. Takashi captures the entire process, allowing viewers to see the labor, time, and effort that goes into creating a single sheet of paper.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

Banner image courtesy of Vimeo.