Art Fukui Guerlain Ichibei Iwanoa Japan Japanese living national treasure national treasure Paris Sugihara Washiya travel Washi Paper

Visit to Sugihara Washi Paper in Fukui, Japan

While I was visiting Kanazawa, Japan last month,  I had a wonderful opportunity through The Art of Travel to travel to Fukui City in Ishikawa prefecture to visit the Sugihara Washi Factory.  I met the president of Sugihara Washiya, Mr. Sukihara who gave my colleague and I a special tour of the factory where they hand make Echizen washi paper from all natural materials.  The washi paper making technique has a 1500 year history.  Yet the process has not changed much and it was interesting to see how the paper is made.  The quality of the paper that is produced in the factory is extremely fine yet durable.  Sugihara washi-trees and washi-flowers designed by Joerg Gessner is currently being displayed at the Guerlain Champs-Elysées, Paris Shop until February 10th, 2013.  
Mr. Yushinao Sugihara, president of Sugihara Washiya showing us the hemp that is used to make paper.

We were also very fortunate to be introduced to one of Japan’s living national treasures, Mr. Ichibei Iwanoa, who is the 9th generation paper maker in his family, who is devoted to his work in washi making.

Mr. Ichibei Iwanoa, one of Japan’s Living National Treasure showing how he removes the “junk” from the hemp
The almost final product!
The “secret” ingredient that holds the paper together like glue!

  Mr. Sugihara also took us to visit the local shrine of the goddess of washi.
Ringing in some good luck at the shrine.

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