• 1. Harvesting "Kozo" paper mulberry
    Papermaking begins with harvesting Kouzo Mulberry trees. Harvesting is done in the relatively dry period from the end of November until the following January. As only the trunk is used, the branches of the tree are cleanly trimmed off.
  • 2. Steaming the shoots and Stripping the Bark
    The trimmed and cut Kouzo Mulberry trunks are then gathered and tied into bundles to match the size of the steaming oven. The trunks are arranged with their roots facing down in the steaming oven, and are then steamed for 2 to 3 hours.
  • 3. Scraping the bark
    The black outer bark of the Kouzo Mulberry tree is then peeled off, leaving only the white inner-bark. Washi paper is made from this white inner-bark.
  • 4. Boiling the bark
    The white inner-bark is then dried once, and then boiled in a mixture of water and soda ash (sodium carbonate) to soften the bark and separate the fibers.
  • 5. Washing and bleaching
    The wood is then further soaked in water to remove any impurities and then bleached. Any further rubbish or impurities are then removed by hand.
  • 6. Pounding the kozo
    To produce the pulp needed for paper-making, the inner-bark is then pounded to further separate the fibers, and then ground even more minutely in a pulping machine.
  • 7. Making the paper
    A strainer made of bamboo or miscanthus reed is then used to strain the fibers from the liquid pulp in the mixing vessel. The bark fibers are then layered into an even and appropriate thickness, and the paper is then strained from the pulp mixture.
  • 8. Drying
    The strained paper is then placed on a paper board or metal plate for drying.