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土佐典具帖紙 Tosa-tengu-joushi Tosa Tengujo-shi

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Tosa Tengujo-shi, the thinnest paper in the world, is hand-made paper produced in Ino Town, Kochi Prefecture. This paper making technique is designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Property by the national government.

Tosa Tengujo-shi was first produced in 1880 under the guidance of Genta Yoshii, the restorer of hand-filtered paper in Ino Town. The hand-made paper of Ino Town was known as “Tosa Stencil Paper” in the U.S., France and England and all the products were exported to these countries during the prewar period.

Tosa-Tengujo-shi is made from excellent quality paper mulberry from Kochi Prefecture. After cooking the material with hydrated lime, the boiled fiber is washed to remove dirt and other unwanted bodies. Then, the fiber is beaten and separated with a stick and given the process called “koburi,” in which beaten fiber is stirred and separated in a basket filled with water. Finally, the pulp is put in a vat, where a well-kneaded formation agent made from tororo-aoi (the beaten root of Hibiscus manihot L.) is added, and then it is filtered using a highly elaborate technique called Nagashi-suki (the tossing method) to distribute long fibers evenly.

The filtered paper is so thin as to be called “Mayfly’s Wing,” in which fibers area evenly entwined with one another to create beautiful and strong surface. Paper coloring techniques have been established recently, which scored a great success.
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