Yamamoto Papers Part II: In the Middle Papers
Welcome to Part II of the Yamamoto Paper descriptions. All of the Yamamoto Papers can be found on the website here.
There are four papers here that are in the middle in terms of general paper weight and thickness.
In the fall of 2018, the manufacturer of Kin Kaku Den, Sakamoto Paper Industries, decided to close their operations. Sakamoto Paper Industries had a long history of making paper by hand before they switched to mechanized paper production in the 1960s. Kin Kaku Den was a paper they developed through extensive trial-and-error with the goal to create Washi paper suitable for offset printing. The name was inspired by the glimmering light reflected off of the main hall of the temple. Kin Kaku Den was commonly used in letter sets and for prayer writing by Buddhist monks. It is also used by the Ino Washi Museum for their pamphlets and entry tickets. Unfortunately they decided to cease operations due to the retirement of their paper master and the aging of their equipment which made maintenance difficult.
I love a paper with a good history. You can definitely tell there is some character to this paper, and one side has more texture than the other. In the writing sample photos, I wrote on the smoother side. Great for pencils.
This paper was developed by Mr. Ken Uchihiro of Kyoto Kami Shoji, a paper distributor based in Kyoto. He was moved by a 2013 newspaper article commenting on the resurgence of handwriting in the digital age. It was developed with the goal of producing a paper that was smooth for a great writing experience, had no feathering nor bleed-through, fast drying, and can be used on both sides. Through a long trial-and-error process with Oji F-tex, came about Eastory COC. Our ink tests with blue and black Sailor and Platinum inks showed no feathering nor bleed-through. Very wet redish-pinkish J. Herbin inks showed slight feathering and bleed-through. We recommend writing with Medium or finer nibs. We really like the roughness that travels through the pen-tip when writing.
This is possibly my favourite paper of all of the papers—there is a satisfying amount of toothiness or texture to the paper, it’s fairly light, and, of course, it’s good for fountain pens.
Bond Paper is known for its strength and durability, and is used in checks, stock certificates, and important business documents. For the most sensitive prints, copper plates were hand carved and pressed onto Bond Paper. The copper plates were stored in safes to prevent theft and forgery. Mitsubishi Paper Mills Bond Paper was first manufactured in 1921. Spica Bond is a variation that was released in 1970 exclusively for Takeo Paper. It is believed to be modeled after the Speaker Bond Paper that was manufactured back in the 1940s. The manufacturer added a unique watermark to the paper to indicate their confidence in its quality.
Smooth, lightweight, not as light as Tomoe River, but still quite strong and also crinkly. Great feeling of the nib on the paper as it’s smooth but not too smooth. The watermark is nice also, and indicates that it’s 25% cotton content.
Tomoe River is known for being thin and light. It handles fountain pens, ball-point pens, and pencils well, and the softness of the paper makes it easy for notebooks to lie flat. It has gained worldwide attention as the paper used by the Hobonichi Techo.
Ah, the original classic. Tomoe River paper used to be hard to find, and I remember we used to import it in boxes of reams and sort it into packages to sell in the shop, which was labour intensive, to say the least. Some of you may already be familiar with the paper and how it handles ink, but I thought I would include some writing samples for comparison. Lightweight, crinkly, handles fountain pen ink well. The close-up is of a personal favourite ink of mine, Kobe #59 Hirano Romance Grey.
The last of this 3-part series, covering the lightest of the papers, is coming up.