NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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黒谷和紙 Kurotaniwashi Kurotani Japanese Paper

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Since early times, Kurotani (today's Ayabe district, in Kyoto prefecture) has been blessed with paper-mulberry plants and the pure waters of the Kurotani River, both of which are essential for the production of Japan's famous paper ('washi').
   Kurotani washi has been manufactured for a thousand years since the Heian period. It is believed that fleeing Heike warriors invented the paper, bequeathing the tradition to future generations.
   During the Edo period, Kurotani washi was recognized for its quality and evolved as a cultural artefact as well as a cottage industry. As a result, many factories were established and flourished. Later in the Edo period, sericulture prospered and the demand for paper using silk threads increased.
   In the Showa period, with the development of machine-based technologies and the widespread use of Western papers, the demand for washi diminished. Today, Kurotani is known worldwide for its paper.
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