ganpishi 雁皮紙
CATEGORY: art history / paintings
 
Formerly called hishi 斐紙. Paper made from the fiber of the ganpi plant (Diplomorpha sikokiana honda or Wikstroemia sikokiana). Along with *choshi 楮紙 (mulberry paper) and *mashi 麻紙 (hemp paper), ganpishi is one of three traditional handmade papers dating back to ancient times. However, ganpishi has always been produced in much smaller quantities than choshi, as the ganpi plant is difficult to cultivate and has to be collected from the wild. Ganpishi is a high quality paper with a glossy surface which is resistant to insects and aging. Many of the oldest papers preserved in the *Shousouin 正倉院 contain a mixture of ganpi and mulberry tree fibers. The addition of ganpi provided a smooth, fine texture for brushwork. In the Heian period fine ganpishi, known as *usuyou 薄様, was used by court ladies for writing letters and poems in kana かな script, and as wrapping paper. Various decorated forms of ganpishi also were developed at this time. In the Kamakura and Muromachi periods two types of ganpishi developed: *torinokogami 鳥の子紙 and *maniaigami 間似合紙. Torinoko, or chicken paper, took its name from its pale yellowish color, said to resemble an eggshell. Maniaigami (paper which fits into a space), takes its name from its size,which matches half the size of a *fusuma 襖 screen. When used for a screen, powdered stone was added to the paper to reduce its elasticity and give it fire resistance. Ganpishi was also used for painting, and as parchment by Christian missionaries who came to Japan. There were ten regions manufacturing ganpishi in the Edo period but only two of these produced continuously: Echizen 越前 (modern Fukui prefecture) and Settsu 摂津 (modern Osaka). In modern times the output of ganpishi declined rapidly, but it continues to be used for gilded paper (where gold is beaten in or applied to the surface), lining for fusuma paper for kana calligraphy, and for folk crafts. In particular the famous traditional paper maker Abe Eishirou 安部栄四郎 (1902-84) produced a thick ganpishi which was much praised by Yanagi Muneyoshi 柳宗悦 (1889-1961), the pioneer of the Arts and Crafts movement. This started the modern boom in craft paperwork. 
 
 

 
REFERENCES:
*ryoushi 料紙, *ryoushi soushoku 料紙装飾, *washi 和紙
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