danshi 檀紙
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Japanese paper *washi 和紙 originally made from mayumi 檀 fibers (the spindle tree, euonymus sieboldianus) but now made from the fibers of the mulberry tree kouzo 楮 (see *choshi 楮紙), or a mixture of the two fibers. Often called michinokugami 陸奥紙 because it was produced in Michinoku area (part of modern day Touhoku 東北) during the Heian period. White or light brown, the early version of the paper was smooth but later danshi is noted for its slightly wrinkled texture. Danshi is divided into the three types: large, ootaka danshi 大高檀紙; medium, chuutaka danshi 中高檀紙; or small, kotaka danshi 小高檀紙. These categories can refer to the size of the paper or the size of the creases in its surface. Danshi was highly valued by courtiers and samurai. It was used for personal letters, documents, and poetry writing. It was often folded and carried in one's bag or pocket as kaishi 懐紙 (also read futokorogami), as tissue paper, for partitioning cakes, and for wiping tea bowls during the tea ceremony. Danshi was also used for formal letters, business correspondence, diplomas and so on. It is still produced and used today.


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