The patterns encapsulate people's prayers and wishes, with deities also concealed within.
Karakami originated from ryōshi writing paper, which dates to the Heian period (794-1185).
Together with the words, the patterns and colors decorating the ryōshi express people's most cherished thoughts and wishes.
The words encapsulated by the patterns are not limited to messages from one person to another.
The Kokin Wakashū (Heian period collection of poetry) and the Sanjūrokkasen (Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry) written on karakami hand-made with the kirazuri process - over 1,000 years since they were written - still express a timeless, brilliant beauty.
In continuous operation for almost 400 years since establishment in Kyoto in 1624, Kira Karacho is the only karakami(paper-covered sliding door) store in Japan.
Karakami artisan Akihiko Toto and Aiko Senda, a member of a founding family, have inherited the karakami traditions distinctive to the Saga district of Kyoto.
They have brought a wide range of products expressing the beauty of karakami to the world, from traditional fusuma sliding doors and wall hangings, to the restoration of cultural assets such as at temples and shrines as well as karakami artwork.
At the same time, they have released products made of materials other than paper and engaged in collaborations with other artists. These initiatives are driven by their passion to create products that enrich people's lives through the beauty of patterns and colors.
With its unique sense of beauty and aesthetics, Kira Karacho provides a conception of time and space for clothing, dining, and living like no other.
As the last karakami store in Japan still operating since the Edo period (1603-1868), Kira Karacho treasures its role in both producing karakami and spreading the message about karakami culture.
[ Product details ]
Author: Akihiko Toto, Aiko Senda
Language: English, Japanese
Size: A5 Horizontal type / 216p
Issue date: July 2020 (Made in Kyoto, Japan)