Kenya Foy
November 16, 2016 2:04 pm
John-Mark Kuznietsov/Unsplash
In the current era where digitizing dominates all of our mediums, it is most refreshing to watch this video of craftsmen hand-making paper in Japan. The 800-year-old method is used in the town of Kurotani and produces what’s known as washi paper. If you’re headed to Japan, the technique can be seen in person at the Kurotani Japanese Paper Museum, or if you’re short on time and travel miles, you could just sit back and watch the scintillating skill displayed in the short film.
Anyone who’s ever purchased or created a handmade item (hi, Etsy) already knows the precision, time and effort that generally goes into something you can’t easily buy off a store shelf. That alone, makes us super appreciative of this beautiful cultural practice.
The multi-day, paper-making process begins with mulberry stalks that are cut, tediously stripped of bark and boiled. Then, what looks like a pile of paper noodles is carefully sifted through and beaten into a pulp. And several painstaking steps later, beautiful sheets of washi paper are produced and the results are pretty amazing.
Once fully processed, washi paper is typically used for books, clothing and wrapping among other things.  Existing in a world where everything seems to be created with a sense of urgency, there’s something extremely therapeutic about viewing such a detailed process that’s largely completed by hand and manual equipment.
It’s definitely a reminder from an unlikely source that we could all benefit from pumping the brakes on our fast-paced lives every once in a while.
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