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The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin with the continued support of The Sumitomo Foundation in Tokyo, have now commissioned Restorient to conserve three more of their most treasured Japanese paintings. Dating from the early 17th century this set of hand scrolls chart the epic tale of "Hunting the Ogres" It will be possible to follow the conservation of these magnificent hand scrolls here on this blog. We at Restorient are delighted to have the opportunity to share this remarkable project, and to offer some insights into this type of specialist conservation.

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Thursday, 21 March 2013


Uchigumo as part of a scroll mount

Deep in the mountains of Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, Japan, there is a paper-maker who still makes by hand a remarkable paper, the origins of which are over a thousand years old. Iwano Heizaburo is still making uchigumo - Cloud patterened paper. The oldest existing piece of uchigumo paper is part of an anthology, Hōraikiri said to have been copied out during the Tengi era (1053-1058).

To make this decorative paper, a thin gampi paper is first dyed with indigo and then re-beaten into a pulp. Cloud-like shapes of this blue pulp are then applied to a wet sheet of torinoko paper so that they appear as though they are floating along the length of the top and bottom of the sheet. Originally uchigumo was made with only indigo but later papers with indigo-dyed clouds at the top and purple dyed clouds at the bottom became more popular.


Iwano-san in his workshop

We have now asked Iwano-san if he could make us some uchigumo which we hope to use as the inner lining of the cover silks for the  Shuten Dōji hand scrolls.


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