WASHI PA­PER-MAK­ING

Chill Factor - - Chillfactor Recommends -

Ski­ing in Ja­pan is as much about ex­pe­ri­enc­ing amaz­ing cul­ture, as it is knee-deep pow­der. With ap­prox­i­mately 600 ski re­sorts in Ja­pan, Aus­tralian skiers are spread­ing out dis­cov­er­ing new and in­ter­est­ing lo­ca­tions and stum­bling across some amaz­ing cul­tural gems. One such gem is the World Her­itage listed area of Gokayama, lo­cated in the moun­tain­ous area of the western re­gion of Toyama Pre­fec­ture, Hon­shu. The area is fa­mous for its ar­chi­tec­ture style, called gassho-zukuri houses. Th­ese tra­di­tional houses have very steep pitched roofs to al­low the huge vol­ume of snow to slide off the roofs eas­ily. In this re­mote part of Ja­pan, they have been mak­ing Gokayama Washi pa­per for cen­turies. Washi pa­per-mak­ing has tra­di­tion­ally be­ing a win­ter ac­tiv­ity. Branches are har­vested just be­fore the snow ar­rives in Novem­ber, steamed, stripped and left to dry. Once win­ter comes, the bark is bleached white in the snow. Once bleached, the bark is boiled, shred­ded and loos­ened into fi­bres. A large vat is where the Kozo fi­bre is mixed be­fore the pa­per is placed in a block to cre­ate sheets. The tex­ture feels raw, yet fine to touch. A Chill­fac­tor ski magazine made out of Washi pa­per would be awe­some. – Phil Os­born

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.