Chiyogami Paper


Colorful chiyogami patterned paper primarily developed in Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo). Kyo-chiyogami involves the application of Nishijin dyeing techniques to create a wealth of patterns that have a graceful, elegant air, such as yusokumonyo, which are traditional, repeated patterns based on Heian court decorations, and colorful depictions of scenes from the Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari). Meanwhile, Edo-chiyogami started by using woodblock printing techniques of ukiyo-e, depicting scenes from Kabuki as well as actors’ family crests.

Originally, Kyukyodo was opened as a pharmacy in front of Honno-ji Temple on Teramachi Street in 1663.  Today they are favored by people of all ages as a specialty shop offering incense and Japanese stationery.  One of the most popular items is cute, large and small envelopes using traditional Japanese washi paper.  A wide range of designs and forms will appeal to everyone’s taste.  Especially, the small envelopes feature a variety of Japanese motifs, from traditional patterns to modern drawings of flowers, animals and seasonal elements.

Large sheets of washi each measuring 60 x 90 cm (around 2 x 3 feet) adorn one wall of Kyukyodo’s interior, making it appear as if it were a kimono shop.