Moriki Paper started out in Yokohama almost 70 years ago with several of its own manufacturers working in provincial areas in Japan where paper had traditionally been made by hand. The company was established after our founder, Yasumi Moriki moved to Yokohama from Kochi prefecture (Tosa) where he grew up and where papermaking was traditionally popular. His motto “Paper is god” has been passed on to following generations and has influenced many people in the industry.

Founded in Manhattan, New York in 1901, The Japan Paper Company was importing paper, much of it handmade from not only Japan but also fifteen other countries. Through many organizational changes in the company – The Japan Paper Company, Stevens-Nelson Company, Nelson-Whitehead, Andrews/Nelson/Whitehead (A/N/W) and current ANW Crestwood, Moriki Paper has been its sole supplier in Japan, making it possible for the company to deliver the finest quality Japanese papers to many artists in North America.

Likewise in Europe, most fine Japanese papers had been made available for a long time by us via a main distributor we had contract with in Germany, JAPICO Drissler Feinpapiere GmbH (now known as Japico Feinpapiere of RÖMERTURM FEINSTPAPIER) as well as their partners in England, France, Austria, Italy and some other European companies until 1996. Many of the same paper items that were supplied by us to the U.S. were distributed in Europe also, but they were often given under different names due to our distributors’ sales policies.

Here are some of the papers distributed in both North America and Europe throughout the past half century; from the 70’s up to now

OkawaraKizukishiKochiMulberry
Hosokawa-ShiHoshoGoyuShidzuoka
MisumiKozo TorinokoGampi TorinokoSekishu
KajiTonosawaMoriki (Yatsuo)Tosa Tengujo
Kinwashi

After many decades there is now a variety of purposes for which Washi is used in many different countries, although many of our papers are still used in various art fields. Whether it be children folding paper Origami cranes, or Marc Chagall (1887-1985) who used our best selling “Japon Nacre” (Kozo Torinoko) for his printworks. Conservators who are incredibly selective when it comes to using paper, often choose Washi over other papers for work in their offices and museums. Indeed, it seems that when it comes to the uses of Washi, the sky is the limit.

However, there are a number of problems in the paper making industry in Japan. The number of people making papers by hand has been decreasing year by year due to the fact that it is becoming more and more difficult to make a living as a papermaker due to the decreasing demand for Washi in our limited domestic market. What is really important to us is to deliver Japan’s finest papers to whoever requires them. Also important to us is to keep alive this fine tradition of papermaking for the appreciation and pleasure of future generations by developing a new direction or use for such traditional papers outside Japan.

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