The traditional manufacturing method which is based on handwork

The Sugihara paper is a high-quality Japanese paper carefully crafted using the traditional hand-made method.
This process which consumes a lot of time and effort will be described below.

  • 和紙の原料楮(こうぞ)の

    01.[Kouzo] (Paper mulberry)

    Mulberry “kouzo”, the raw material for the Japanese paper, is grown.

  • 楮刈りの

    02.[Kouzo-gari] Mulberry cutting

    Mulberry which has grown 2 to 3 m in one year is harvested. (December to January)

  • 皮はぎの

    03.[Kawahagi] Peeling

    Peeling the steamed mulberry bark while it is hot. (January to February)

  • 黒皮取りの

    04. [Kurokawa-tori] Getting rid of black bark

    Scraping the outer black bark with a knife to turn it into white bark. (January to March)

  • 川さらしの

    05.[Kawasarashi] Soaking in the river

    Soaking the white bark in the Sugihara river for one night and whitening it with cold water, sunlight, snow and other elements of nature. (January to March)

  • きず取りの

    06.[Kizutori] Removing bad fibers

    Saving only the beautiful fibers by removing defects such as scratches and worm holes from the white bark.

  • 釜たきの

    07.[Kamataki] Boiling in cauldron

    Boiling the white bark in alkaline water to soften the fibers.

  • ちり取りの

    08.[Chiritori] Removal of impurities

    The boiled white bark is washed in clean water to remove impurities and inclusions.

  • 紙たたきの

    09.[Kami-tataki] Paper beating

    Beating the bark to loosen its fibers. The finely crushed white bark is called the “paper stock.”

  • 紙漉きの

    10.[Kami-suki] Paper sheet forming

    Combining the “paper stock” and neri (the mucilage extracted from the root of sunset hibiscus plants) in a water-filled mold, making sheets one by one by shaking the suketa (the papermaking sieve-like screen or deckle) and stacking the wet sheets one on top of one another. The pile of stacked wet paper sheets is called the “paper bed”.

  • 紙干しの

    11. [Kamihoshi] Paper drying

    Peeling the compressed paper sheets off one by one and attach them on the drying board or an iron plate for drying.

  • 検品の

    12.[Kenpin] Inspection

    Finally, visually inspecting the sheets one by one and arranging them for delivery or placing them at the storefront.

How to Grow “mulberry” used as the Raw Material

We would like to introduce how to grow mulberry which is the raw material for the Japanese paper.


In Taka-cho, we are promoting cultivation of mulberry trees to support the production of the Sugihara paper.
The locally grown mulberry is particularly suitable as the raw material as its fibers have white color.

  • 01.Planting

    From late November to late March Planting of trees into well-drained loam.

  • 02.Fertilizing

    Adding fertilizer or lime 20 days before germination in March-April.
    Adding chemical fertilizers immediately after the rainy season.

  • 03.Pruning

    In the first year from planting, one or two main branches are left, and starting from the next year, two or three more branches from the branches left in the previous year are left.
    When the trees mature, they will have more than 10 branches per tree.

  • 04.Trimming side sprouts

    Sprouts coming out of the middle of the abovementioned branches shall be removed from June to September. Then you will have good quality bark.

  • 05.Cultivating, weeding, laying straw

    It is appropriate to conduct it from April to September.
    Straw (grass) is important for preventing drying in the summer.

  • 06.Harvesting

    Using a sharp sickle, two shoots at the root of the main branches are left and the rest are cut.