A title from The Old School Press 

Washi Memories

Photographs of the papermakers of Kamikawasaki in Japan at work in the 1950s, with samples of their papers, and commentary by Eleanor Burkett

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About the book

Published 8 November 2023 - now in print

This new title from the Press offers an important record of a bygone era of Japanese papermaking in the Fukushima province of Japan, in particular the work of families in the village of Kamikawasaki.

The book is introduced by paper and textile artist Eleanor Burkett, and has a foreword by renowned paper historian, Sidney E. Berger. Eleanor has also written texts to accompany each of the photographs, based on conversations that she has had with papermakers there past and present.

Thirty atmospheric black-and-white photographs recording the families at work in the 1950s are each accompanied by a commentary detailing the processes used. Each group of photographs is preceded by a heading in Japanese script printed from original calligraphy by Yoko Hashimoto. Samples of eleven papers that were once made in the area are included in each copy; they include pure kozo papers, dyed papers (pink and indigo of various shades), walnut-dyed crushed papers, and papers with petals. Additionally, the compliments slip of two papermakers printed on their own hand-made papers are tipped in.

One of the photographs from the book


About the edition

The text has been set by hand in 14pt Monotype Fournier italic, with ancillary matter in Stempel Optima, and printed on Matrix Fine Laid. The photographs have been printed digitally and tipped in. The quarter-cloth binding has Colorplan end-papers with a commissioned suminagashi paper by Sarah Amatt on the boards. The book is 287mm by 215mm. It runs to 118 pages.

There are 150 copies of which 138 are for sale. 250 plus shipping.

Find out more about the book

View a slideshow showing selected openings from the book:


View the binding and four openings from the book:

What others have said about the book

'one of my favourite fine press acquisitions', 'a really super book'

You can find details of all our plans and books in print
via the homepage of our catalogue website
and you can buy online at our shop.


Copyright Martyn Ould 2023