Some 1,500 years ago, when Emperor Keitai lived in Echizen as Prince Ohta, a beautiful princess descended upon a village on the Okamoto River and taught the people there how to make paper.
This princess, Kawakami-gozen, turned out to be the goddess of paper, and with her visit she founded Echizen’s washi industry. People built Okamoto shrine to dedicate her and have been carrying on the tradition of paper making.
The name of Echizen Washi is found in Shosoin’s (a treasure repository built in 8th century) document od the Nara Period when Chinese paper-making was introduced to Japan. When paper begin to be used in large quantities by the warrior class, some very high quality paper such as Echizen Hosho were produced in large amounts and using improved techniques. The Shogunate and feudal lords gave paper producing area their patronage and further developments were made.
During Meiji period Dajyokan Kinsatsu, Japan’s first nationally used currency notes were manufactured here in Imadate.
In more recent times many artists including the famous painter, Taikan Yokoyama, have favored Echizen papers, which are well known throughout the country.
Featuring a delicate texture and wide variety, the paper made in Imadate has no equal in its variety among papers produced in Japan.
HONORARY CONSUL OF JAPAN