Hidakawashi: Kozo Kawa Hagi Experience Event

***Disclaimer: All images are from events prior to the pandemic. All pictures taken by Hiroyoshi Chinzei.

Below, Hiroyoshi Chinzei – President of Hidakawashi in Kochi, Japan – discusses their annual Kozo harvesting event, which this year has been scaled down because of COVID-19.


The harvest time for Japanese mulberry(Kozo) has come!

Inside of this barrel, Kozo branches are laboriously steamed. Steaming softens the outer bark making it easier to strip.

Every year between December to January, the local group of Japanese mulberry farmers and Japanese hand-made paper association have an event called “Kozo Kawa Hagi (mulberry peeling) Experience Event”.

Professional teaching how to strip Kozo bark.
Children and non-professional paper makers gather to learn how to strip Kozo bark!
Children working together to separate the outer bark.
Each person gets a bundle of Kozo to strip.

Usually, local elementary school students, and people who do not know how to make Japanese paper’s raw material are widely invited to experience their first trial.  At the event, Special Japanese soup and steamed sweet potato are treated as their compensation for labor. 

Steamed sweet potato!
Special Japanese Soup!

THIS YEAR

This year ,however, was totally different from normal event due to the pandemic situation. Very few people could participate and worked silently. It felt like a quiet prayer for good harvest and quick recovery of world’s peace from the pandemic situation.

Spaced out stripping Kozo.

Safely handling the massive bundles of Kozo.

Even though the event was very small this year, we’ve got a whole bunch of shiny fresh new mulberry (Kozo) fiber!  Those Kozo fibers are waiting to become this year’s beautiful Japanese paper and delivered to your hand pretty soon!

Hiroyoshi Chinzei

Hidakawashi Co., Ltd.

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