DAIFUKUCHO OBI (paper sash)

Yamagata Prefecture
Material: Washi paper

This kimono sash was made from recycled daifukucho, the account books kept by merchants. That such items could be used to make a sash attest to the durability of washi paper and the skills of papermaking artisans. The obi was made by cutting the paper evenly into thin strips, turning them into strings of paper, and tying them together with silk thread. Daifukucho obi is an ingenious solution to the scarcity of cloth in the Tohoku district, where cotton did not grow. Black and red writing faintly appears on the surface, giving character to each obi. They are light, warm, and durable, and the rich washi texture deepens with continued use.

大福帳の帯 (紙布)