I visited Akizuki in Fukuoka. Akizuki is a old castle town located in northern part of Asakura city. The area still retain the appearance of Edo era, and have its cultural atmosphere. Famously known as a site of Cherry blossom in the spring and beautiful colored leaves in the autumn.
Akizuki started making Washi during the Edo period
Akizuki was an important site for production of Japanese paper. Akizuki washi was well known for its strength and flexibility, and people used Akizuki washi as a string to tie hair.
Main purpose of this visit was trying out Washi(Japanese paper) making. After walking around the town, I visited “Chikuzen Akizuki Washi Jo”.
Chikuzen Akizuki Washi Jo
Chikuzen Akizuki Washi Jo was founded in 1879, and is now responsible for keeping its tradition. The number of the washi making manufactures has declined with the time, and Chikuzen Akizuki Washi Jo is the only manufacture in the area at the moment.
Experience making Washi!
When we got there, we had a small tour in the studio. Mr. Inoue explained the history of Akizuki washi and showed us the process of making washi.
After we learned bit of the process, it was time to try it out. We experienced straining mixed fiber on Suketa(like a net). When Mr. Inoue demonstrated it, it looked not that difficult… but it was not easy!! Kindly, he took us through the steps, so we didn’t mess it up!
We really enjoyed it. The paper takes time to dry, so we asked him to send them to our home address.
Would you like to experience making washi?
If you would like to experience making Washi, contact Chikuzen Akizuki Washi Jo. You need to book first!
Even you don’t have time to try it out, we recommend you to stop by and see their handmade washi. 🙂
Akizuki 424-2, Asakura city, Fukuoka, Japan
OPEN：10:00～17:00（Closed on Tuesday）
What we saw at the studio
This is the “Kozo” tree and the most important material for making washi.
This big pot is used for boiling bast fibers of Kozo tree.
After boiling, Kozo is soaked in the stream with this big tank.
To make white paper, need to breach Kouzo.
Cut fibrous Kozo to small pieces and pound Kozo with the machines.
After mixing pounded Kozo and glue in the tank, ready to make a paper.
Need to mix pounded Kouzo and glue well using hanged tool looks like rake before moving to next step.
Straining them on a Suketa (it is like a net).
Piles up papers and compress to dehydrate.
Dehydrating, then heat drying.