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9 JUNE 2017

Classic Japanese Paper Stationery

The cultural significance of Japanese paper was officially recognised by UNESCO in 2014 when washi, the traditional craft of hand-making paper, was added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Commonly made using fibres from the kozo (paper mulberry) tree, washi comes in numerous varieties and has a rich history of being used not only as stationery, but in applications as varied as interior design and fashion.
 
The Japan Store introduces a selection of paper products from a Tokyo-based brand: Haibara. As a longstanding purveyor of paper goods and stationery, Haibara continues to attract fans with products featuring traditional patterns, seasonal motifs and auspicious symbols that bring joy to the art of writing.

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Haibara: Adored by writers for more than two centuries

Haibara was founded in 1806 in Nihombashi, Tokyo. Initially specialising in the sale of papers, ink and medicines, the shop’s gampi paper soon gained popularity. Made using fibres from the small, slow-growing Japanese shrub of the same name, the paper’s silky surface made it perfect for writing and attracted a loyal following among writers, artists and the general public. The shop’s round fans and beautiful chiyogami (hand-screened decorative paper) further contributed to the shop’s popularity during the 1800s.

Haibara also worked with leading Japanese artists, who developed original designs for chiyogami and other paper products. The company also took an active role in introducing washi to an international audience at World Expos in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A selection of Haibara’s papers are held in international museum collections including Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts) in Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

Selected products

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Inspired by a traditional roll of letter-writing paper, the Bellows Letter Set includes a concertina-style pad and matching envelopes. As the winner of a Good Design Award in 2012, the set is perfectly suited to compiling both short notes and long letters, with the pad allowing for continuous writing on a single sheet of paper. Once writing has been completed, the paper can be separated from the pad by tearing along one of the perforated lines. As one of Haibara's long-selling items, the letter sets come in a range of themed designs that include sakura (cherry blossoms), chidori (plover) and tobi-usagi (jumping rabbit).

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Adorned with beautifully designed paper, Haibara’s small boxes add a splash of colour to the home or office. The boxes feature some of the brand’s historically popular chiyogami designs, which were developed in collaboration with a wide range of artists between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Petite in size and available in various designs, the boxes can be used as a package for tiny gifts, or to store stationery, trinkets and other small items.

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