Letter from Japan: Sō Kubota of Sekishu Kubota

Above is a picture of the Sea of Japan from Sō Kubota’s point of view

Sō Kubota is the esteemed papermaker of several of Hiromi Paper, Inc.’s conservation papers including: HP-06 Sekishu Tsuru, HP-07 Sekishu Mare, HP-60 Sekishu Torinoko Gampi, and Sekishu Mitsumata Postcards! Below he shares an update on the happenings at Sekishu Kubota.

Kozo fields ready for harvesting at Sekishu Kubota

Hello! My name is Sō Kubota, Sekishu Banshi papermaker at Sekishu Kubota.

We are located in Shimane Prefecture along the coast of the Sea of Japan (East Sea). Like most papermakers in Japan, the effects of COVID-19 have definitely had an impact on the papermaking business here as well, as we have been experiencing a decrease in work loads. 

Inside the studio at Sekishu Kubota

Luckily there have been special orders for conservation papers and hand-written sutras that have kept us busy for the past few months.

HP-60 Sekishu Torinoko Gampi made by Sō Kubota picks up any hint of light

Now we are fast approaching the busiest season in papermaking; the harvesting of kozo and stripping of kozo bark. High quality kozo is a necessity for Japanese papermaking, so the whole family and staff members get together every year around this time to work on preparing the kozo. 

Sō Kubota and family pose for a picture!

Although we now live in the new normal with the pandemic regardless of where we are, I hope the coming year will be an improvement for Sekishu Kubota and my fellow papermakers. 

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