Origin: Shikoku Island, Japan
Product Concentration: Traditional handmade paper
Since its introduction in Japan around 610 AD, washi (Japanese papermaking) has always been practiced on Shikoku Island. Although first reserved for the religious and aristocratic classes, paper became widely available during the 12th century. Originally, papermakers used indigenous fibers, such as kozo, gampi and mitsumata. However, due to a large increase in the need for paper during the Meiji period (1868–1912), paper mills started using wood pulp in a process that became mechanized.
Located in Yamakawa, in the Tokushima prefecture (Shikoku Island), AWAGAMI is the largest traditional paper mill in Japan and has been owned by the Fujimori family for seven generations. In 1986, Minoru Fujimori was awarded the Sixth Class Order of Merit, deemed a “Sacred Treasure” by the Japanese government. His son, Yoichi, is an acclaimed master papermaker, and his daughter-in-law, Mieko, a paper-dying master.
Their ability to combine traditional and innovative papermaking techniques has enabled the mill to develop unique papers for calligraphy, printmaking, bookbinding and restoration of artwork. A selection of papers is also suitable for water-media techniques and inkjet printing.