About Washi

The history of washi paper in this region is said to have begun in the 8th century. Traditional papers like Musashi Washi and Ogawa Washi were made over a broad area of West Saitama as side work by farmers. The region was located near the greatest consumer center of washi, the city of Edo, which allowed it to flourish as a paper production area. In particular, Hosokawa-shi paper, which was designated as an intangible national cultural asset in 1978, was protected as a UNESCO intangible cultural asset along with Sekishu-Hanshi paper and Hon-Minoshi paper in 2014 in the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices as "Washi: Craftsmanship of Traditional Japanese Handmade Paper." This was not simply a recognition of washi itself but of the result of the combined efforts of everyone supporting the making of washi from the cultivation of raw materials, management of fields, making of the tools necessary to make washi, and so on.

An intangible cultural asset is not something that can be seen. It is something that is passed from person to person. This is why I believe that making paper for the next 100 years is our way to repay our ancestors for carrying on the tradition, and it represents a message to those who will carry it on in the future.

I hope that everyone understands that washi is made possible by the hands of many people.