Inshu Traditional Japanese Paper (Inshu Washi)

Continually reinvented handmade Japanese paper built on 1300 years of history

Production Area

Saji / Aoya, Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture

Historical Details and Geographic Characteristics

Inshu washi has age-old roots dating back to the Nara period during the 8th century. At the start of the Edo period, Inshu washi was exported on red seal ships (shogunate-licensed trading ships), and as the preferred paper of the Tottori Domain’s feudal lords, Inshu washi was well preserved and regulated. This traditional paper thrived thanks to measures, for the cultivation and protection of mulberry, the raw material used to make washi.

During the Meiji period, amidst the revision of materials used during manufacturing and the implementation of techniques from other prefectures and abroad, productivity rapidly improved. This fervor continued until the Taisho period due to increased demands for calligraphy paper from the expanding school system.

However, as the Showa period approached, improvements in the production of Western paper and overall lifestyle changes led to a decrease in the demand for Japanese paper. During this time, new products were created, including Japanese calligraphy paper, craft paper, and dyed paper, making Japan one of the leading manufacturers of said products. Even now, there are efforts to develop new goods such as three-dimensional washi and washi paper for photo prints.

Main Retailer/Exhibition Facility

Inshu Washi Paper Factory Kaming Saji

Address 146-4 Fukuzono, Sajicho, Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture
Phone 0858-89-1816
Hours of Operation 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed Wednesdays, Year-end/New Year holidays
Admission Fee Free
Social Media

Aoya Washi Studio

Address 313 Yamane, Aoyacho, Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture
Phone 0857-86-6060
Hours of Operation 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays (If the Monday falls on a holiday, the museum will close the following day instead),
Year-end/New Year holidays
Admission Fee Permanent exhibits: Free, Special Exhibitions: Adults 300 yen,
Elementary to High school students: 150 yen
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