Handmade Japanese paper.

Said to have originated in China, it's manufacture was perfected on the island of Kyushu around 800AD, and was used for a wide range of applications, including architecture, clothing, and as a medium for writing and painting.

Washi refers to all kinds of specialty papers from Japan, although the most common is the kind with bright kimono-like patterns. This paper is fairly sturdy and can be used to make boxes and other paper crafts such as washi ningyo. In the USA, washi or washi-like paper may be found at a craft store in small pieces for origami, or in large rolls at a specialty shop such as the Kinokuniya Stationery store. Washi is often incredibly beautiful, with patterns from subtle to flashy (even with gilt details). Naturally, it's also extremely expensive.

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