Located in the birthplace of the traditional craft "Gifu Chochin" lanterns in Mino region, Gifu, Japan, HAYASHI KOUGEI has been employing traditional techniques since 1949 to create WASHI [traditional Japanese paper] interior products that blend beauty and functionality. Their factory, which consistently handles production in-house, is likely one of the few nationwide dedicated to this craft.

Under their original brand, "FORES," they primarily produce lighting covers and interior decors made of charming WASHI from across the country, with a focus on "Mino WASHI," which has a history of 1,300 years. They carry out the entire production process in an environment where the tranquil scenery of Mino unfolds, and each item is meticulously handcrafted. The entire production process, from Japanese papermaking to lantern covering, is carried out in-house, including the following stages:

1.Preparation of raw materials for papermaking
2.Metalworking and woodworking
3.Painting and the manufacturing of lighting fixtures
4.Lantern covering and processing lampshades
5.Inspection and packaging

History of Mino WASHI

Mino WASHI with a tradition dating back 1300 years, has its roots in at least the Nara period (710-794 AD). In the province of Mino, the raw material for paper, Kozo (paper mulberry), was of high quality, and it was believed that a significant amount was obtained. During the Heian period (794-1185), Mino significantly contributed to paper production, and this tradition continued to thrive through the Edo period (1603-1868), with papermaking not being indiscriminately licensed. With the Meiji Restoration, spanning both the late Edo period and the beginning of the Meiji era (1868-1912), the restrictions were lifted, even leading to a sudden surge in the paper industry.

However, subsequent challenges like economic downturns,  the Nobi Earthquake in 1891, and wartime capital and labor shortages had a negative impact on the Mino WASHI production. From the post-war Taisho period (1912-1926) onwards, competition with machine-made paper and the influx of petroleum-based products also posed significant challenges. To promote handmade washi paper, the Mino Handmade Washi Paper Cooperative was established in 1983 during the Showa era (1926-1989). Efforts have been made to incorporate new improvements into traditional techniques and continue to pass down these skills to future generations.

HAYASHI KOUGEI is dedicated to conveying products made of genuine WASHI from the land of Gifu that embody the warmth of human hands to the world.
1-8-22 Nakacho, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Postal code: 153-0065
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