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The source of this material is the tuber of a plant related to the taro family, Amorphophallus konjac. The tuber is sliced, pounded and dehydrated; then the powder is dissolved in water, an antisepctic is added and the resulting gelatinous starch (konnyakunori) is applied to Japanese paper (washi).
Five coats are applied to each of five sheets of paper and these are cross-laid one on top of another. After drying, softening in glycerine and re-drying, the paper becomes extremely strong and it can be used as a substitute for leather. The tuber of Amorphophallus konjac is also processed into an edible jelly for use in boiled dishes and sukiyaki – a dish of braised beef and vegetables.
The contents of this site are excerpted from THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF TIME CAPSULE EXPO'70(March 1975). Please note that company and organization names may differ from those of the current ones.
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