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Glossary of PAPER

N-12-1-1 : Sliding door (fusuma) paper

This opaque, heavy weight paper is stretched in large sheets over the framework of internal sliding doors called fusuma In modern times, the paper is often printed with border or all-over designs. In the past, hand-painted fusuma were a common feature of wealthy households and temples and many famous Japanese painters left masterpieces in this form. Photographs of fusuma paintings are included in the capsule (Arts section: Japanese painting).


N-12-1-2 : Sliding screen (shoji) paper

Since about the 8th century, Japanese houses have employed shoji as a means to introduce light; only in recent decades has glass been widely used for this purpose. Shoji are made of a lattice of wood over which damp washi paper is stretched and pasted. The paper is semi-opaque, Ietting in a pleasing, subdued light. At night, or when the weather is severe, the shoji are covered by outer sliding doors of wood or glass. 5,443 tons of paper for shoji were produced in Japan in 1969.


N-12-1-4 : Tissue paper (kyohanashi)

Kyohanashi is a light, crisp tissue paper with a soft surface. It has been used in Japan for many centuries and it is still popular today, despite the introduction of Western-style tissue. The kind of kyohanashi called hanagami or chirigami (included in the capsule) is tucked into the sleeve of the kimono and used for the same purposes as a Western handkerchief. Another kind of kyohanashi called kaishi is used in the tea ceremony to clean the rim of the tea bowl before passing the bowl to another person.


N-12-1-5 : Kozo paper

Kozo is an elegant, Iong-fibred paper with an absorbent surface made from the bark of the paper mulberry ( Broussonetia papyrifera). This tree, which is related to the true mulberry, is a native of China and other parts of Asia and Polynesia; it is cultivated in Japan specifically for the purpose of making paper. Books made of kozo paper were introduced to Japan by Chinese priests in the 7th century.


N-12-1-6 : Oiled paper: Miniature Japanese umbrella

Japanese oiled umbrellas (bangasa) Iook rather delicate but in fact they are thoroughly efficient and they have the advantage, not found in a Western umbrella, of being semi-translucent. In the manufacture of bangasa , oiled paper is applied in sections to ribs of split bamboo; the spokes are joined to a hollow bamboo ring which slides up and down a bamboo handle.
The oldest references to bangasa date from the 8th century. Western umbrellas (which, when first introduced to Japan were called komorigasa – fiying bat umbrellas) are found everywhere in Japan today, but bangasa are still appreciated for their harmony with Japanese surroundings and attractive colouring.


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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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