Asakusa Washi: Omikuji Recycling

Asakusa, Tokyo, is home to many shrines and temples. Visitors often buy "omikuji," which are small pieces of paper with fortunes written on them. Normally burned for disposal, washi paper artisan Shinoda Kaho came up with the idea of recycling them as a new style of washi, which is not only beautiful but durable as well. Her washi handbags are gaining popularity in and out of Japan. This may well be the birth of a new local specialty in an area long known for papermaking and paper recycling.

Washi artisan Shinoda Kaho
Papermaking using shredded and pulped "omikuji"
The finished omikuji washi