|KEY WORD :@art history / paintings|
| A type of Chinese paper imported and used in Japan
for painting and calligraphy and as backing paper, urazuke t for mounting
and binding. See *karakami
. Approximately 132cm x 162cm, Toushi is made from mulberry and bamboo fibres
mixed with caustic soda, which creates a rough surface, and a light brown color.
The use of bamboo fibres weakens the paper because it resists bonding, but two
types of bamboo, keichiku j| and mousouchiku Ð@| (Phyllostachys
pubescens; a thick stemmed bamboo) were commonly used. Toushi was
valued for its low water absorbency which made it suitable for calligraphy without
applying glaze *dousa âH
. A Japanese version of the paper, also known as
toushi, or watoushi a, was used for calligraphy. Taiwan toushi
äp and ryuukyuu toushi ®
(from Taiwan and Okinawa respectively)
also exist, but Chinese toushi is considered to be of the highest quality.
According to *Shousouin ³q@ records, toushi was used as early as the Nara period for copying Buddhist sutras. GENJI MONOGATARI ¹¨ê (The Tale of Genji) and other Heian period documents claim that members of high society used toushi that was dyed various colors such as yellow, purple or pale blue. A large quantity and variety of toushi was imported from China until the beginning of the 19c when the number of boats coming to Japan was temporarily reduced and production of Japanese toushi rapidly increased, especially in the Edo region. Although toushi was very widely used up to the end of Edo period, *gasenshi æå is more commonly used today.
The most usual type of toushi, called ichiban toushi êÔ, is considered to be of relatively low quality, but it highlights differences between pale and strong shades of ink. This makes it very suitable for calligraphy or paintings using pale shades. Niban toushi ñÔ is a higher quality paper with a smooth surface and low ink absorbency, and so very easy to use. It is an excellent paper for writing, drawing, painting and calligraphy practice. Sanban toushi OÔ is a Japanese made toushi, and is a thick, rough surfaced paper similar to ichiban toushi.
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