Our next stop in Fukui was to visit National Living Treasure, Mr. Ichibei Iwano.
The ninth generation in his family, Mr. Iwano is the maker of the Kizuki Hosho, a high quality 100% Japanese Kozo paper, now mainly used for woodblock printing or calligraphy. His papermaking processes are done by hand, with help from his wife and son. In his late-seventies, Mr. Iwano still takes time to do chiritori, with his own hands, to make sure all or most impurities do not show up on his finished papers.
Mr. Iwano does not use any chemicals for his papermaking, and always does the chiritori process three times, no matter how busy he is. I felt that this strong dedication and uncompromising attitude is what makes his paper one of the most coveted and most high quality paper in the world.
It was a great honor to finally meet Mr. Iwano, and I look forward to visiting again soon, and possibly to see him in action, making the Kizuki Hosho.