9/14/2014

kami paper

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kami 紙 paper

Japanese traditional paper was used for many items, from robes to lanterns to printing.

. - - Washi 和紙 Japanese Paper - -   .
- introduction -


- quote
... Paper was made of the bark of "kozo" trees. Since only branches were cut to obtain bark, there was no worry of excessive cutting of trees. And there were many kinds of recyclers for used paper in those days.

Besides the repair experts, there were other specialized workers who collected and traded end-of-life materials.

- Used-paper buyers
These buyers bought old shopkeepers' books, sorted and sold them to paper makers. In those days, Japanese paper (washi) was made of long fibers of over 10 mm, and specialized paper makers bought and blended various kinds of used paper to make a wide range of recycled paper, from bathroom tissue to printing paper.

- Used-paper collectors
Some collectors were also specialized in used paper, but didn't have the financial resources to buy it. Instead, they picked up and collected trash paper by walking around the town and sold it to used-paper warehouses to get a daily cash income.

- Used-umbrella rib buyers
Umbrellas in the Edo Period were made of bamboo ribs with paper pasted on. Used-umbrella rib buyers bought and collected old umbrellas and sold them to specialized warehouses. At the warehouses workers removed oiled paper from the ribs, repaired the rib structures and then other workers were contracted to paste new oiled-paper onto the ribs to make new umbrellas. Incidentally, the oiled paper from used umbrellas was removed and sold as packaging material.

... As one could imagine, however, such extensive reuse and recycling systems embedded in society would limit the profits of paper makers, printing companies, publishers and shippers. In the economy of today, if people don't continuously buy new goods, the economy falters.
- source : www.resilience.org/stories



- quote
Sustainability in Japan's Edo Period -
Unlike the prosperous present day, when it's cheaper to buy even a new metal and cloth umbrella than repair a broken one, people in the Edo period would use bamboo and paper umbrellas, as they did yukata, right to the very end.

If the paper of an umbrella had torn through prolonged use, people would ask traveling paper lantern repairmen to repaper them. Since repapering of both lanterns and umbrellas involves basically the same principle of applying paper to a bamboo framework, paper lantern salesmen apparently used to repair umbrellas too, as proven by the existence of old illustrations depicting such repairmen mending umbrellas as well as lanterns.

With repeated repapering, an Edo period umbrella had a long enough life span that it would begin to show wear and tear in other areas, the threads holding spokes together, or the spokes themselves, giving way in time. Repair was not so easy in many such cases, but people still didn't just throw old umbrellas out, selling them instead to old umbrella buyers who would go around neighborhoods calling out "Umbrellas! Old umbrellas!"

Apparently the old oil paper too was recycled to butchers to wrap meat up in. Very little meat was consumed in the Edo period, but there were people who purchased it as a kind of dietary supplement known as kusuri-gui (= medicine food), and in Edo and Osaka there were also shops selling the meat of wild boar, deer and other hunted wildlife. Such shops used old oil paper, which was largely odor-free as a result of its age, like we use plastic wrap today, an admirable example of out-and-out re-use if ever there was one.
- source : Eisuke Ishikawa



. choochin 提灯 Chochin, paper lanterns .

. karakami 唐紙 special paper for sliding doors .

. kasa 傘 paper umbrella .

. oogi 扇 - uchiwa 団扇 paper hand fan .


under construction
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. Recycling and Reuse in Edo - リサイクル と 再生 / 再使用
ekorojii エコロジー ecology in Edo .


koshi risaikuru 古紙 (故紙) リサイクル recycling of old paper


kamikuzuya 紙屑屋, kamikuzu kai 紙屑買い - buying waste paper





According to its state of dirt and destruction, paper could be re-used (suki-kaeshi 漉き返し) in many ways until it finally ended in a fire to warm the folks or cook a meal.

回収業者 recycling shops
古紙問屋 store dealing in used paper
suki-kaeshi 漉き返し業者 business dealing in re-use of paper
- source : www.gakken.co.jp

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kamikuzuya 紙屑屋 Kamikuzuya



There is also a rakugo story about a waste paper collector.

- reference - for CD -

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kamikuzu hiroi 紙屑拾い picking up used paper

He walked in the streets with a basket hanging from his neck and picked up paper using a simple bamboo tool.
At the end of his day, he carried the basket to the dealer in used paper, got his money for the day and could go off to spend the money.


kamikuzu kai 紙屑買い buying old paper

He carried two baskets of woven bamboo (mekago 目籠)) with a shoulder pole and walked from home to home to collect used paper. He also had a scale to weigh the paper for payment.
At the end of his day, he too carried the baskets to the dealer in used paper, got his money for the day and could go off to spend the money.


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mekagao 目籠 openwork woven bamboo basket
kagome 籠目 holes in a basket


. kago 籠 / 篭 / かご basket, baskets of all kinds in Edo .

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kamisukishi、kamisuki shi 紙漉き師 making paper, paper making artisan
kamisuki shokunin 紙漉き職人



The making of paper is described here.
. - - Washi 和紙 Japanese Paper - - .

The most famous paper in Edo was made in Asakusa.

Asakusagami, Asakusa-gami 浅草紙 
Most were specialized in recycling of paper, since it was difficult to get hold of the original materials for making paper in greater amounts.

Tawaramachi in Asakusa had a district called
Kamisukichoo 紙漉町 Kamisuki-Cho

- quote -
KAMISUKICHO RUINS - 'Kamisuki'means'making paper'.





This neighborhood was named after the very first Paper factory in Edo that was here and prospered from the late 17th Century through the 19th Century. Here paper produced was called "Asakusa paper "and was in fact made from recycling old and used paper.
- source : tokyotaito.blog.shinobi.jp -


kamiya, kami-ya 紙屋 paper maker


古今紙漉紙屋図絵


source : japonisme.or.jp/magazine

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sukikaeshi, suki-kasehi 漉き返し業者 re-making of paper


source : www.gakken.co.jp/kagakusouken

Many craftsmen of this kind were located in Asakusa, Edo.
They tore old paper to pieces, selected them carefully, boiled them to dissolve and then let the liquid cool down (hieru 冷える). During that time they would walk over the the pleasure quarters of Yoshiwara, just walking up and down enjoying the view at the ladies (hiyakasu 冷やかす).
This is the origin of the word

hiyakashi 冷やかし half for fun, in jest
jeering; raillery; chaffing; merely asking the price; just looking at goods; window-shopping; browsing



Asakusagami 浅草紙 recycled paper from Asakusa / Edo
. Asakusa to hiyakashi 冷やかし

. Asakusa 浅草 Asakusa District in Edo .



Nishidooingami 西洞院紙 Nishidoin recycled paper from Kyoto
Minatogami 湊紙 Minatogami recycled paper from Osaka


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zenigoza 銭蓙売り paper mats to place coins
They were made of waste paper 反故紙 (hogogami) in the size of the amount of coins that should be placed on it.
zenigoza uri 銭蓙売り vendor of mats to place coins
. zeni, kozeni 銭、小銭 coins in Edo .

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- - - - - H A I K U and S E N R Y U - - - - -


source : 14 十四世川柳 - handwriting -

首をたれて歩けば紙屑によばれ
kubi o tarete arukeba kamikuzu ni yobare

bending his head
while walking looking eagerly
for waste paper

Tr. Gabi Greve


lit. maybe "while being attracted by waste paper"

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu in Edo .

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紙屑もぼたん顔ぞよ葉がくれに
kami kuzu mo botan kao zo yo ha-gakure ni

scrap paper faces
of peonies . . .
shaded by leaves


This haiku refers to the peony garden of Issa's friend Satô Nabuchi, who placed paper flowers among the real ones. Makoto Ueda believes that "undoubtedly the paper scraps stand for poetry";
Dew on the Grass: The Life and Poetry of Kobayashi Issa (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2004)
Tr. David Lanoue


酒臭き紙屑籠やきくの花
sake nioki kami kuzu kago ya kiku no hana

the waste paper basket
smells of sake . . .
chrysanthemums


Rice wine (sake) was served liberally at mum-viewing parties. In this case, how did a waste paper basket come to smell of sake?
Issa leaves this question to the reader's imagination.
Tr. David Lanoue


. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

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. Japanese Architecture - cultural keywords used in haiku .

. - Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu poems in Edo .


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