On our first day of our Washi Tour, Joanna and I visited Mr. Hasegawa in Mino City, Gifu Prefecture.
Mr. Hasegawa first showed us the beautiful sites of Mino City, like the Itadori River, which is a key factor in Mino papermaking.
Since it was our first time in Mino, he took his time with explaining each step in his papermaking, and even showed us how to do “chiritori” and the straining of “tororoaoi”!
Aside from chiritori which he receives help from women in the village, his papers are made by himself alone.
60 years ago, more than 1000 papermakers existed in Mino City. However, the current number is down to just 25.
Mr. Hasegawa had said that washi produced in Japan is starting to lose their individual physical qualities, and the revival of the old, original features is vital to the future of washi.
Next: Echizen Washi