Yesterday I met my friend Naho for lunch and she gave me a wonderful gift: some washi (paper) from Japan! She had asked her mother who lives in Osaka to look for some washi that would be good for moku hanga and bring it here for me on her next visit to Massachusetts. I hear it wasn't too easy to find. Her mother had no luck at stationery stores and even art stores didn't carry it. But she finally found a small neighborhood art supply store that sold washi. Apparently the owner is interested in moku hanga so he makes a point to carry hanga supplies. He told Naho's mother that washi making is a dying art.
She brought two types, but unfortunately I have no information about either one. Here's a scan of the first type:
This is an offwhite paper that's quite thin, but feels pretty strong. The smoothest side is almost shiny. Since it's about 54 inches long, I'm doubtful that it could be hand made, although laid lines are visible. I have a paper sample book from McClain's and the paper this most resembles is the one McClain's calls "Kozo."
The second type is even thinner.
It's also quite long. I don't see anything in the McClain's sample book that resembles it. Guess I'm just going to have to play with these and see what I've got! Such a very nice gift for this budding hanga printer.