Kurotani Washi

JANUARY 4, 2021
TWN | 5 minutes | 2018

Documentary short film directed by Dalton Zongshian Lu
Featuring Hatano Wataru

Kurotani Washi

Japanese title in Kanji: 黑谷和紙

A look at the traditional Japanese hand-made paper, washi, and its durability and versatility through the eyes of washi artisan, Hatano Wataru.

Dalton Zongshian Lu’s film, Kurotani Washi,is a documentary that introduces us to artisan Hatano Wataru, who specializes in making washi. Washi is a traditional Japanese handmade paper with a long and rich history. A culturally Japanese element, the technique of hand-making paper was originally introduced to Japan over 1,000 years ago in 610 CE by Buddhist monks with roots being traced back to China.

A quiet portrait, the film explains that washi is durable and versatile and can be used for many things, such as origami. Filmed in the beautiful mountains of Japan, we learn that the type of washi paper Hatano Wataru makes originates from Kurotani, Kyoto. Those like him who are skilled in the craft of washi paper-making have dwindled to just 200 to 300 people in all of Japan. A dying craft, it makes people like this artisan a rare find and an important part of Japanese culture.

Simplistically and gorgeously shot, the documentary uses washi paper to remind us that less sometimes is more. The simple life can be just as rich and beautiful. And sometimes you can do the most with the simplest things, and they are full of the most possibilities.

This documentary is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.


Director, Writer, Producer: Dalton Zongshian Lu

More from Dalton Zongshian Lu: Black Cloud

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