In the central area of Kyoto, in Shijo Karasuma, there's a big shopping mall called Cocon Karasuma. On the left-hand side of the ground floor there is a shop called 'Kira Karacho'. It had a lot of traditional Japanese patterns in it that up until now I had thought of as very old fashioned, but somehow in there they seemed very fresh.
Photo&Text by tamachangg
At the time of my visit, there was a bed of postcards made with Kara papercraft all over the store. It was as if I was picking paint from a palette.
Wanting to recreate that colour scheme, I bought lots of postcards for 500 Yen each.
Kara paper or Karakami is a traditional Japanese handicraft, which is mostly used for sliding doors and screens. Even today, the sliding doors in the famous Katsura Imperial Villa and Nijo Castle are always repaired with Karakami, but for most sliding doors now it seems like the demand for Karakami is going to decrease.
The husband and wife team of Aiko Senda and Akihiko Toto are developing Karakami as an art for contemporary interiors. Their dream is to one day open a museum dedicated to Karakami.
The images on the left show new uses and collaborations with furniture craftsman using Karakami.
(Shop Shijo Karasuma)
COCON Karasuma 1F 620
Suigin-ya Shimogyo, Kyoto, Japan