- Washi, craftsmanship of traditional Japanese hand-made paper, has been struggling to attract consumers and the market value has dropped by more than 50% in the last 20 years. Washi
- The paper is made from the fibres of the kozo or mulberry plant. The fibres of the plant are much longer than materials used for paper in the west such as wood and cotton.
- The traditional craft of Washi, is practised in three communities in Japan: a) Misumi-cho in Hamada City, Shimane Prefecture, b) Mino City in Gifu Prefecture and c) Ogawa Town/Higashi-chichibu Village in Saitama Prefecture.
- Washi has been included in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage is a list of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide. It aims at better protection of these intangible cultural heritages and raise awareness about their significance.
- The list was established in 2008 when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage came into effect.
- Intangible Cultural Heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills –as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces that communities, groups or individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.
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