Nao region of Saga City was an area once known for washi-making. The Taniguchis, founding family, is the only remaining producer in Japan still crafting washi paper by using bark from organically grown mulberry trees in a methodical process that results in finely textured, luminous paper of exceptional durability.
Sustainability may seem like a modern concept, but the idea has always been central to traditional washi-paper making. Waste is minimized throughout the production process. When separating the mulberry fibers after soaking, care is taken never to cut the plant’s long strands so that the resulting washi may be recycled indefinitely.
Washi’s translucent quality makes it the perfect material for light fixtures, window shades, and wallpaper. From ancient times, Nao Washi’s artisanal paper has been used to make lanterns and other ornaments for Japanese festivals. In recent years, the company is also exploring creative possibilities by experimenting with techniques such as watermarking and incorporating natural plant fibers to make decorative materials for shops and restaurants. Nao Washi’s brightly colored postcards add a spark of joy to everyday life, while confetti-colored washi made with paper recycled from origami cranes sent to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial celebrates the hopes contained in the symbolic offerings. Housed in a 200-year-old building, the light-filled shop displays elaborately textured wall hangings, softly billowing noren curtains, and luminous objects of contemporary paper art. The production facility is open to visitors who can watch the craftsmen at work.
Nao Tesuki Washi Co., Ltd.
Nao 4756, Yamato-cho, Saga-shi,
Saga, 840-0205, JAPAN