A Small Katagami: Kanji
ca. early Twentieth century
8 1/2" x 5 1/4", 21.5 cm x 13 cm
This katagami, or stencil used in the katazome resist dye process, shows a Chinese character, or kanji, encircled by small flecks. Katagami are hand cut by master artisans of mulberry paper saturated with green persimmon tannin or kaki shibu; they are cut in stacks of about 5 to 7 pieces.
Most katagami come from the center of katagami production, in Ise, near Nagoya, and few artisans who practice the art of paper cutting have been elevated to the status of National Living Treasure.