Name: Kawahira (Manufacture and Sales of Sekishu-Banshi, Sekishu-Washi)
Address: 683-3 Misumicho furuichiba, Hamada city, Shimane prefecture, 699-3225
TEL/FAX +81 855 32 1166
Representative: Masao Kawahira
(Chairman of the Sekishu-banshi Craftsmen's Association)
Kawahira family grows rice in summer and produces handmade paper in winter from generation to generation. This annual basic cycle is even now continuing.
It is told that the founder learned paper-making process from his mother at the head family. He mainly made Hanshi (papers for writing) and Kasagami (papers for Japanese umbrella) using locally
The second, Masao Kawahira, finished the paper-making course in Yakumo prefectural vocational training center in March, 1958, after graduation from junior high school. First, he helped his family business. But after that, he left Shimane and got employment. Then, in 1976, he returned home to succeed his family business.
His main product was Hanshi (standard size paper). On the other hand, the consumption of Hanshi had decreased. Though he had started making large size papers, Japanese handmade papers, for which they stick to traditional materials and process, became no longer popular due to appearance of less expensive machinery-made papers or pulp papers. Therefore, he developed and sold new products such as postcards, envelopes, and letter papers.
Interchange with Bhutan
In 1986, interchange of people and paper-making techniques has started. In 1990, in accordance with the presentation of a set of handmade paper making implements from Misumi-town to the Kingdom of Bhutan, Masao Kawahira stayed for 3 months in Bhutan for installation of implements and instruction of techniques.
Then, through having a visitor from Kyoto, he developed an original technique to spin paper yarn.
Utilizing the experience in Bhutan, he developed products of macramé and other lacework with paper yarn. He wove textiles by himself with paper yarn for both warp and weft, to make clothes with all handmade paper, and finally Japanese traditional working clothes.
As Chairman of the Sekishu-banshi Craftsmen's Association
Now, as the chairman of the Sekishu-banshi Craftsmen’s Association, Kawahira develops and trains successors to hand down traditions and techniques of Sekishu-banshi.