Cultivation of Kozo

Kozo, the raw material for paper, is grown around the world, including the mountainous region of northern Nagano Prefecture. We’re aiming to cultivate kozo in The Netherlands as well.

This page explains the process from harvesting kozo, scraping the bark, boiling the fibers, pummeling the kozo, and forming the paper.

Washi Memories:
Reflections on
handmade paper

By Natsuko Ogiwara

I first encountered paper more than 20 years ago. The word for paper, “kami” in Japanese, is also the same phonetic pronunciation for “god.” In the past, paper was treated with reverence, a precious item to be cherished, which is shocking considering the way paper is a disposable good in society today. Japanese people have been making washi for millennia, using techniques only found in Japan. I believe that maintaining and respecting our traditional crafts and technology will be very important to our collective future. No matter how much paper we use in our everyday lives, washi is unique in its beauty and the craftsmanship needed in producing it. We rarely make things by hand anymore and I want us to not forget the importance of handicraft. I want to continue the tradition of handmade washi.