Japanese paper qualifications

I have studied about Japanese paper, well… in Japan. I bought a few sheets of different sorts and brought with me to America. I experiment with it and I really enjoy the outcome. However it is not easy to work with it, any paint spot of watercolor or any other pair remains on the paper permanently, which leaves so little space for an error.

Different sorts of paper are designed for different purposes and have a very big price range, depending on how much of handworks was involved.


On Jerry’s Artarama site I found the following qualification of kinds of Japanese papers, which you may find useful:

“Since the late 18th century, Japan’s Awagami Factory has been producing fine art papers characterized by their softness and strength. Their papers, including their signature Kitakata paper, are made from regional fibers from tree or shrub bark, including the Kozo tree.

  • Bamboo Paper – Eco-friendly paper made from renewable bamboo with a creamy white coloring and light tooth. Excellent for dry media works in pencil, colored pencil and charcoal, as well as light washes in watercolor and ink.
  • Chiri – This natural-colored sheet has dark kozo specks and is excellent for printing and collage. 40 gram weight.
  • Ginwashi – This beautiful thin paper has hemp fibers that resemble “Gin”, or silver. For wrapping techniques and lamp shade making. Acid-free. 39 gram weight.
  • Kinwashi – Paper has translucent quality. 30 gram weight.
  • Kitakata – Handmade, natural colored paper with a rosy beige tint. 35 gram weight.
  • Kozo Natural – Handmade and acid-free and has 4 deckle edges. 46 gram weight.
  • Masa – Two-sided, economical and useful for proofs and student grade projects. 70 gram weight.
  • Mingeishi –The name refers to ‘folk craft paper’ or ‘all purpose paper’. Great for virtually any printing or decorative application. Handmade from Kozo, Hemp and Sulphite pulp. Acid-free with four deckle edges. 45 gram in weight.
  • Mulberry Paper – A versatile paper with wide laid formation with four deckle edges, this paper is strong yet soft. 45 gram weight.
  • Okawara  – A classic Japanese paper that is economical and perfect for student use. 51 gram weight.
  • Sekishu – Ideal for conservation and printmaking. Handmade with four deckle edges. 25×39″ sheet size, 35 gram weight.
  • Tengucho – Machine-made from pure kozo pulp and is acid-free, which in color. 10 gram weight.
  • Unryushi Sume – Contains long and visible kozo fibers that emerge beautifully when the paper illuminated by light. Translucent yet heavy-weight, this paper is handmade from kozo and hemp. Off-white with four deckle edges. 42 gram weight.
  • Unryu Soushi 2 Ply – Allows for printing impressions without lift…” 81 gram weight.

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