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Japanese paper is one of my very favoritest things. It's actually one of the beginnings of Paper Source, I went to Japan in 1983 and fell in love with paper, I was in Kyoto, for the international paper conference and just went back again last year. There were a lot of the same paper makers, and so I thought it's sort of a special thing, so let me share my knowledge with you.

These papers right here are Chiyogami, it means something like a thousand generations, I don't know what it means, but it's basically all the traditional papers that you're all familiar with. They're multicolored, they're usually brightly colored, very stylized designs impeccably done. Usually silk screened, although the old ones were wood blocked, but basically now it's all silk screen. And the quality paper that they make it on ranges from exquisite which is a pure mulberry or a kozo which is the actual fiber they make it on, to a mixed bag of ingredients in the paper. So one of the things you want to look for is a good paper base. We always look for papers that have a deckled edge; it always means it's handmade. If it has a straightedge, that doesn't mean it wasn't handmade, it just means they may have trimmed the edge for proper alignment.

These are some very traditional Chiyogami, and from our very favorite cherry branch, I think we sell more cherry branch than anyone in the whole wide world, to these more bold and contemporary cherry branches, to more elegant cherry branches to little blossomy leaves, to, and this is something the Japanese do so well, these wonderful gold papers, they use gold with such such skill. So here's one on red, and here's the exact same pattern on black. And of course, here's one of their more traditional, more scenic type papers. The Chiyogami, are magnificent. They do these wonderful little children prints so well. I donít know why I say children, I adore them. These are koi in both blue and green, and then of course our little bunny rabbits in pink and blue, they're so cute. Anyways, that's Chiyogami. We buy hundreds of sheets at a time which always seems like way too much, and then somebody comes along and buys it up, we always hope to have plenty of paper, but it all depends on you guys. It might just disappear, but we are constantly buying new patterns so have fun when you are looking at what we have online.

This is one of my favorite papers, these are yorishis, my Japanese is horrible so forgive me. Anyways yorishi means lacquer, so these are lacquer papers and they are done in, let me just scoot it over so you can see all three patterns. So here's the three patterns in yorishis and the red is the lacquer, and if you could feel this, it is the most exquisite feeling paper because the lacquer is so thick. I donít know if the paper is as waterproof as Japanese lacquer, but Japanese lacquer is the finest lacquer in the world. So these are three beautiful patterns, Iím particularly fond of this dragonfly paper; I hope you can see well enough. I donít know what these papers are called, I donít know if there is a particular name for them, but these are, the gentleman who makes these is just the most skillful silk screener, these screens are incredibly delicate, this is all one color. So these are gold and black, gold and black on this overlapping circle, and then these are all gold on red. And each one is more exquisitely beautiful than the next. Obviously they donít shout, they are elegant.

The last two Japanese papers I want to show you are the Katazome which are here, and the sekazomes which are here. The sekazomes are fold and die paper and theyíre just as you can see incredibly beautiful. Each sheet is different. it's not a paper you can count on having alike because they're all hand folded and hand dipped unlike the silk screen papers which are absolutely identical, or relatively so. these are folded on these lines like this, so it gets folded like this, and folded and folded again till it's just a little small piece like this, and then the edges are dipped into the dies and unfolded. This is a paper that is then, because of all of its handling they need to use a paper with a lot of kozo fibers in it which are very long. Itís magnificent for bookbinding. Actually all of the Japanese papers are fabulous for bookbinding. They have incredibly fine quality paper that they're printed on, and they're all this long fiber kozo, and so it takes gluing and turning and bending and all of the important things for bookbinding very well. Theyíre wonderful for almost any paper craft. So these are the sekozomes, let me move them out of the way. And then the last two sheets I want to show you. And you can see the backs, because the die goes through are just as beautiful as the fronts, unlike almost any other paper. The backs are exquisite too.

So these last two papers I want to show you are the Katazomes which is a very special paper. And the pattern is put on with a stencil. The first pass is with a stencil. And the stencil is the white that you see here. And they put a paste down through the stencil and that's the first color. And they do that for the colors, and in this case it's a wonderful salmon orange and two shades of blue and it all gets printed over that paste. And then they take each sheet and they put it on a big board and they squirt it with water. It is so wonderful to watch. And the paste comes right off and shows the white. Itís just a beautiful craft and it's an extremely difficult method. And again it requires a wonderful quality paper because it takes all that extra washing. So this paper's already been washed, so you can bet it's a good strong paper. So this is kakazome, one of my all time favorite Japanese papers. Come and see them!