born in 1949, Echizen, Fukui pref.
Legend has it that about 1500 years ago, a woman taught the people of the Echizen area how to make paper. As Echizen didn’t have any rice fields which would provide the people who lived there opportunities to make a living , it was the craft of paper making that became the main industry and washi has been produced since the 6th century there.
During this long period of time, the method of making paper has been passed on from generation to generation.
“Since my childhood I saw how my family has made paper“
Master Shohachi Yamaguchi IV is someone who doesn’t talk much but when he – as someone who is now at the end of a long chain of paper making tradition speaks about his profession he is very serious about it.
As he was born into the 4th generation of the Yamaguchi workshop, the mission of his life was clear and naturally he accepted his call.
It is a well-known fact of European art history that it was Rembrandt who already used Echizen’s Gampi paper for his prints in the 17th century. And it is no secret among current scholars, that the most beautiful printworks by Rembrandt were those done on this very paper from Echizen.
“It is important for me to preserve our tradition. My task is keeping the excellent quality and the high reputation of the paper which it got a long time ago. “
“Please try out the real Washi.“ These words from Master Yamaguchi, were uttered quietly – and full of pride.
Master Yamaguchi’s paper: