Miyama-washi (Japanese Paper) (Shirataka Town)


The snowy climate nurtured this strong and flexible type of Japanese paper, which was used extensively by the Yonezawa Clan as their designated paper.

Papermaking has been popular as an off-season job for farmers in the Miyama district along the Sanebuchi River of the Asahi Mountain Range since the Muromachi period (1338-1573).
During the Edo period (1603-1868) Lord Uesugi Yozan, the 9th lord of the Yonezawa Clan, encouraged farmers to grow Kozo (a type of tree providing material for making paper). At the height of production almost half of the 100 households in the area were making paper. Even now traditional techniques are preserved.


Pure snow-white colored paper is made by farmers using natural material fostered for one year
Kozo is suitable for planting in cold regions and grows fast, so it is possible to keep a stable supply. The entire process, from planting Kozo through making paper, takes place in the Miyama district. The quality of the paper is superior in softness, durability and airiness, and it was used in documents that have been preserved from the Edo period (1603-1868). The more it is exposed to cold winter winds, the whiter it becomes, which is characteristic of this snowy region's paper.

Main Products

●Broaches   ●Shirataka Dolls (traditional doll of the Shirataka region)   ●Saiku-mono (various art crafts made from Japanese paper)