Perhaps the thickest handmade Japanese paper we carry are the smaller series of Kozo cards, ranging between 240g to 300g in weight. The smallest, called Etchu Meishi, is 2.25 x 3.75” in size. The next sizes up are the 4 x 6” Hagaki, and the 6 x 8” Etchu Hagaki. We now carry the format called Tanzaku, which is 2.5 x 14.25”. We also have a 9.25 x 10.5” size called Shikishi Etchu available by special request.
In Japan, Meishi are considered calling cards or business cards and Hagaki are postcards often sent at New Years. The larger Shikishi seems to be a more recent creation to imitate traditional scrolls, smaller than scroll sheets to better fit the modern home. Tanzaku is a format often used to write wishes on to then hang from tree branches during festivals.
There are many uses for these sturdy, deckled edge sheets – gift tags, unique business cards, artist trading cards, labels, place cards, recipes, rubber stamping, small painting, drawing, and printmaking artworks.
I love these heavyweights for collage bases, I feel I can really load them with layers of other papers if I wanted to, and they’re stiff enough to easily stitch through. For a pure Kozo paper, they have an unusually smooth finish, as shown in the Meishi with a drawing of my dog Stevie, using very fine tipped pigment ink pens – no fuzzy lines or bleeding associated with inks on some other Kozo sheets. However, they also take paints and dyes if you want to stain them, Kozo being very absorbent. I also find that being smaller than typical 25 x 37” sheets, they’re less intimidating for me and are a nice human scale.
Artwork created by Leah Taylor on Japanese Handmade Kozo Cards
With Information kindly provided by Sigrid at The Japanese Paper Place