The next stop was to a paper mill that was brand new to Hiromi Paper, Nai Gai Tengucho Paper, Ltd. Owned by two sisters, Nai Gai specializes in machine made Tengucho. Like the Shikoku Wagami machine made Gampi mill, we learned here again that machine made paper still takes a large amount of time to prepare by hand. The kozo fibers are cooked and cleaned by hand. Then, setting Tosa Tengucho apart from everywhere else, a specially made stainless steel basket (koburi) is used in water to separate the fibers and clean them even further.
Mounds of Tosa (Kochi) Kozo wait in various stages of the Tengucho making process outdoors: from cooking to chiritori(cleaning) to beating indoors. The parts of kozo that aren’t used in papermaking are used as firewood.
Coming up next: Handmade Tengucho by Hamada