Sannenzaka Correspondence

Editors’ Diary 03/07/2023

In Tokyo's Nihonbashi district, there is a long-established paper wholesaler, with a history of over 300 years. This reminded me while driving on Showa Street in a Toyota car. During my student days, a fine art conservator suggested a visit to Ozu Washi, and I had the opportunity to go. However, due to some reason, perhaps because I was out playing or doing something the day before, I ended up being significantly late. When I called, I was informed that the papermaking experience had been canceled. The instructor was very disappointed as they had assumed I would be participating.

After that, I consistently dedicated myself to working as a journalist in media. However, it was a common understanding among journalists from various media outlets in Tokyo that "print media will disappear, and we should not cling to it." This also applied to journalists working for magazines like Weekly Toyo Keizai and Weekly Diamond.

While there is a fact that both Japanese Washi and Western paper have accumulated a culture of durability, capable of withstanding centuries of use, in Japan, daily publishing materials are haphazardly produced, taking into account the prevailing political atmosphere and the scrutiny of banks, and most of them end up being poorly made and unsold, resulting in their disposal known as "Dansai." It is questionable whether this peculiar practice is worth perpetuating.

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