Ino Paper Museum and Paper Making

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September 21, 2016

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Japanese paper is known around the world for its high quality and beautiful designs. Within Japan, Tosa Washi, paper produced in Kochi Prefecture, is particularly famous and has been designated an Intangible Cultural Property by the Japanese government.

Kochi artisans have been perfecting the art of paper making for close to 1000 years. Visitors can learn more about this history – and even try papermaking themselves – at the Ino Paper Museum in Ino Town near Kochi City.

Papermaking workshop inside the Ino Paper Museum

The Museum

Ino Paper Museum

Begun in 1985 to promote Tosa Washi, the museum comprises two display rooms, a paper making studio and a gift shop.

Items on Display at the Museum

One room showcases items made with paper, such as fans, masks, books, and even clothes, alongside a description of the history of the art. The other displays the traditional tools of papermaking and explains the labour-intensive and detailed process.

Some of the tools used in traditional papermaking

Tosa Washi

There are over 300 types of Tosa Washi that are used for everything from origami to walls inside traditional Japanese homes (called shoji and fusuma) to woodblock prints to lamps and book mending. Two varieties, Tosa Tengujo-shi and usuyou-gampi, are the thinnest handmade papers in the world with a thickness of only 0.03 mm.

Nightlights Made from Tosa Washi

Tea containers decorated with Tosa Washi

Paper Making

Pulp mixture and frame ready for papermaking

A demonstration of nagashizuki (one of two types of traditional paper making; the other is tamezuki and produces a thicker paper) is included in the admission fee, but for those who would like to try paper making for themselves, a class (10 - 15 minutes of hands-on time plus 30 minutes for drying) is available.

Blank postcards waiting to be dried and pressed

Students can choose between making 8 postcards or 2 sheets of coloured paper. Stamps and other material are available for decorating afterwards. Groups of 10 or more need to make a reservation in advance. For the less crafty, a wide variety of paper products and souvenirs are available for purchase at the museum shop.

Gift shop featuring Tosa Washi products

Cute items made of paper

Information

Directions: The museum is a 10 min. walk from both Ino Station on the JR line and the Ino terminus of the Tosaden tram.

Address: 110-1 Saiwai-cho, Agawa-gun Ino-cho, Kochi 781-2103

TEL: +81-88-893-0886

Hours: 9am-5pm. Closed Monday.

Website: http://kamihaku.com/en

Admission: 500 yen (with papermaking 400 yen)

We wish to thank the Ino Paper Museum for their assistance and cooperation with us for this article.

Sarah Lemmon


Currently working as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in Kochi City, Sarah is a Canadian expat who spends her free time exploring Kochi Prefecture and trying to devise a better way to keep the tanukis out of her garden. She enjoys going to local festivals and eating too much mochi.


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