The Wonder 500

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214

Sekishu Banshi Mare (Sekishu calligraphy paper)

Stationery
Calligraphy Paper/Ink/Calligraphy Pens/Paperweights
Japanese paper is extremely durable, not degrading even after 1,000 years, and is said to be the longest-lasting paper in the world. This is why Japanese paper is being given a leading role in the restoration of cultural assets in other countries. The reason it is so sturdy is because the plant fibers that comprise it are much longer than those used for Western paper. In western Shimane prefecture, where Sekishu Washi (“Sekishu” is the old name for Shimane prefecture, “washi” means paper) is produced, kozo (paper mulberry) trees are cultivated by a family business. Using a manual paper-making process called tesuki that has been handed down for 1,300 years, the fibers are combined in complex ways to form tough Japanese paper. Sekishu Banshi, which symbolizes Sekishu Washi, was designated by the Japanese government as an Important Intangible Cultural Property in 1969, and was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009. A season’s greetings letter using this paper will leave the reader with the lingering sensation of the writer’s taste, and surely will not be forgotten.
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