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Tesuki Washi Ushiogami (手漉き和紙潮紙)

Building Occupancy / Site Capacity: 

A group of young entrepreneurs from Tokyo, Sendai and Shichigahama have come together to start a new business, making bags and other goods using traditional Japanese paper "washi". Washi is also referred as a vegan leather in the western world, and some European designers are paying a great deal of attention to the material.

This group recognizes that the business needs to start by establishing connections and deeply rooting itself in the community. With their innovative business model, Tesuki Washi Ushiogami has the potential to become a large work force, elevating the economic status of the city.

Our Clients' Story:
Mr. Kubota and Mr. Tsukahara met at a "Cultural Business" workshop in Sendai. Listening to Tsukahara-san speak about how "displaying the paper-making process in a museum does little good," and his motivation to start a business selling his carefully crafted paper, greatly impressed Kubota-san. Also with Shichigahama not having any souvenir item particular to the location, Kubota-san approached Tsukahara-san with the idea to create products combining Tsukahara-san's paper with items made by the community. They have combined efforts in hopes that this will become the beginning of what will become a strong and established industry and brand of Shichigahama thirty years down the road.

Originally, the entire process was scheduled to occur in Shichigahama. While the location of the paper-making space has been moved to Sasaya, the paper mulberry will still be farmed and harvested from Shichigahama.

A short message from our clients:

Message from our clients at Ushiogami from Architecture for Humanity on Vimeo.

MakiBiz RFP Program
This project is one of the businesses that were selected for the MakiBiz Request for Proposal (RFP) program, which supports the rebuilding of small businesses and entrepreneurs who were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake that devastated the Tohoku region in 2011.


Sasaya Imashuku, Kawasaki-machi
Shibata-gun, Miyagi

Project Details

NAME: Tesuki Washi Ushiogami (手漉き和紙潮紙)
PROJECT LEAD: Architecture for Humanity
LOCATION: Sasaya, Shibata-gun, Miyagi, Japan
START DATE: December 16, 2013
CURRENT PHASE: Construction complete
COST: $84950 USD (Estimated)
SIZE: 80 sq. m
CONSTRUCTION: 2001 Kensetsu Co.,Ltd.
DESIGN FELLOW: Akinobu Yoshikawa
BENEFICIARIES: Learning and working environment for the handicapped, with ADA accessible facility and Japanese traditional paper making facility, as well as a gathering place for local community.