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Sustainable Washi Papermaking in Yusuhara


Ⓒ Takuya Hosogi  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Sustainable Washi Papermaking in Yusuhara


Learn the secrets of traditional washi papermaking with renowned artisan Rogier Uitenboogaart

Kochi Prefecture


Ⓒ Takuya Hosogi


Did you know washi (traditional Japanese paper) can last for 1,000 years?


Yusuhara is a beautiful mountain town nestled in the north-west of Kochi Prefecture, home to six buildings designed by architect Kengo Kuma. Here you can learn the 1400-year-old craft of Japanese papermaking at the workshop of friendly master washi maker Rogier Uitenboogaart and his son. Fascinated by washi, Rogier arrived in Japan in 1980 from the Netherlands to learn more about this unique craft. “The process of Japanese papermaking is deeply connected with mountains, rivers, and other natural features. When I look at washi, I feel like I'm seeing these natural landscapes,” says the artist.


Ⓒ Takuya Hosogi


From field to finished product, see how this sustainable material is made from the mulberry trees growing across the mountainside. During the workshop, you will get a chance to try your hand and make your own original washi paper.


After pounding the dried mulberry fibers into a pulp (a very satisfying process), you will then transform them into sheets of textured paper by adding pure water and natural adhesive made from okra. To add depth to your creation, pick flowers and leaves around the bucolic studio, and add them to your natural paper. It will make a wonderful souvenir of your time in Japan!


Ⓒ Takuya Hosogi


If you wish, you can even stay overnight in the artist's two-room guesthouse, each decorated with his handmade washi wallpaper and lamps. Take in the views over the valley as you enjoy breakfast, and spend a relaxing time surrounded by the lush nature of Yusuhara.



How to get there


From Kochi Ryoma Airport, take an airport bus to JR Kochi Station (25 minutes), then take a JR express train to JR Susaki Station (40 minutes) and transfer to a local bus to Yusuhara (80 minutes).


1678 Otado, Yusuhara-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi-ken



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