Founded in 1806
We have been dealing with Japanese traditional papers in Nihombashi
Edo period (1806~1868)
Foundation of Haibara and Gampi paper
Founder of Haibara, Sasuke served his apprenticeship at a book retailer / publisher in the city of Edo.
When his duty was over, Sasuke started his own business as a retailer of papers, ink, and medicines. Among those products, paper made from “gampi” plant (Wikstroemia sikokiana) was the most popular item.
Gampi paper was a very fine high quality paper with silk-like glossy surface which was perfect for writing. Haibara’s gampi paper greatly attracted writers and artists, and then became very popular among the common people during Edo period
Beauty of wood block printing-
round fans(Uchiwa)and patterned papers(Chiyogami)
In addition to Gampi paper, Haibara has been famous for paper products with wood block printed decorative patterns.
Haibara’s round fans (uchiwa) was regarded as one of representative souvenirs of Edo.
The original painting was drawn by prominent artists at the time, namely Sakai Hoitsu (酒井抱一, 1761-1829), and Watanabe Kazan (渡辺 崋山, 1793 – 1841).
Hand printed patterned papers (Chiyogami) was also Haibara’s specialization. Delicate and beautiful designs gained favor of wide range of people including imperial family members.
Meiji period (1868~1912)
Association with the art societies
The 3rd owner of Haibara, Haibara Naojiro(1846-1910), had a strong, inquiring mind toward Japanese art.
He had built intimate relationship with various artists including Shibata Zeshin (柴田是真, 1807-1891), Kawanabe Kyosai (河鍋暁斎, 1831-1889), and Kawabata Gyokusho (川端玉章, 1842-1913).
Those artists undertook the original designs of Haibara’s products including round fans, patterned papers, and letter papers.
Haibara and World Expo
At the dawn of Japanese civilization era, Haibara had participated numbers of World Expos in order to introduce Japanese paper products to Western countries. Their exhibition received awards at the World Expo in Vienna (1873), Paris (1878), Amsterdam (1883), Barcelona (1888), and Liege (1905).
Patterned papers traveled to overseas from Haibara during this time are still reserved in Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Royal Botanic Garden, Kew (London), Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum(Glasgow), Musee des Arts Decoratif’s(Paris), and many other museums around the world.
Distinctive design of those papers had inspired numbers of artists at the time,and contributed to the raise of Japonism in late 19th centry.
Taisho Period~ (1912~)
Haibara had further branched out into other printed matters such as indicator papers and business forms, which have been well received by various governmental agencies and companies.
In 1919, Haibara developed and produced Japan’s first recording paper chart for use with imported recording instruments.
In 1951, Haibara developed the world’s first amounted production system for folding-style recording paper, and is the most common on its kind in the world.