top of page

The Preservation of Washi Photographs


Washi paper becomes an adult

Handmade washi, an accumulation of natural materials, becomes stable over time.

When maintained under ideal conditions, washi takes one to two years to reach its most stable state in terms of texture and luster.

Omogushi, the craftsmen who create hanging scrolls and folding screens, refer to this state as "washi becoming mature.

The Shosoin Repository in Nara contains works of art made of washi that were created more than 1,000 years ago, and they are the result of various preservation techniques such as proper dehumidification, drying, and mothproofing.


It is not good to leave things stored away, and it is not good to leave them on display either.

Scrolls and other objects preserved in temples in Kyoto are periodically displayed to the public in order to expose them to the air and to prevent dehumidification.

Permanent exhibition is also not good because it is a source of dust and dirt.

Washi is made of completely organic materials and needs to be exposed to air regularly.


High heat or direct sunlight is strictly prohibited.

Avoid placing it by a heater or in direct sunlight, such as near a window or light fixture.


Moisture is Washi's worst enemy

Lockers and closets are prone to moisture, which can cause mold to grow. The use of desiccants is also essential.


Metals and chemicals are also strictly prohibited.

Sellotape and cam tapes generate chemicals such as petroleum-based volatiles, which can cause deterioration and discoloration of washi.

Metal frames and other materials can also cause condensation and should be avoided.

Please take out the file case when storing the paper, as leaving it in the file case can cause condensation and compress the plant fibers on the surface.


Japan Washi Photographic Society's original Paulownia wood box for preservation

The Japan Washi Photographic Society has custom-made paulownia boxes for storing large quantities of A3-bodied WshigraphPhoto.

Paulownia boxes are the most effective preservation system for Washi, as they dehumidify, retain heat, and prevent mold and insects. 

In the event of a fire, a paulownia box is hermetically sealed to prevent fire from spreading inside and water from extinguishing the fire from entering the box.

We have received so many inquiries and (production) requests that we have decided to start selling these boxes to the general public.

bottom of page