Edo karakami alphabet card

Karakami is a decorated Japanese paper that gets pasted onto sliding and folding screens. Its history began in Heian Era (794 - 1185), originating in China.
It was an honor for us to collaborate with an actual "Dento-Kogei-Shi (Traditional Craftsman)," Yukio Koizumi from the Koizumi Husuma Kakoujo, to create the artwork exclusively for my shop, Crane&Turtle.






History of Karakami

The Karakami uses various techniques to produce. From using woodblocks for woodblock printing and creating Ise paper patterns, use of a brush to dye it, and a method called Sunako hand sowing. It originates from emulating Crest papers used in China but using Japanese papers ("Washi") instead.

Karakami became very popular in Kyoto as a medium for writing the lyrics of Japanese song poems called Waka. Moreover, it became the top medium for decorative sliding doors and folding screens during the middle ages.

The Edo Karakami is uniquely distinguished from Kyo Karakami, which focuses on woodblock printing only. Edo Karakami uses paper patterns for printing, brushes to dye the papers, and woodblocks. The designs reflect a wide range of patrons, from the Samurai class to commoners, people from all walks of life. Hence, the techniques to create Edo Karakami also reflect diversity. The method has survived many years of tribulations, wars, and fires. And each time, the hands of craftsmen would restore them, passing the techniques down for generations.



The Koizumi artisans: 5 generations of technique and culture

Koizumi Husuma Kakoujo started in the Kaei era (1848 - 1855) in the heart of Edo (currently Tokyo), founded by Shichigoro Koizumi.  His Grandson Genjiro inherited the technique and business and passed them to his first son Tetsu. Today, the artisan studio is operated by Yukio Koizumi, the son of Tetsu Koizumi, and 2 of his sons.
Yukio owns multiple awards and prizes, including certified traditional craftsmanship that the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry acknowledges. In addition, his artwork can be seen in traditional Japanese buildings such as museums, temples, and Japanese tea ceremony rooms.


Thank you❤️