All purpose paper “Kaishi”

Japanese traditional culture
Yuko
Yuko

Hello. It’s Yuko.

Do you know “Kaishi/ 懐紙(かいし)”? It’s also called “Futokorogami(ふところがみ)”.

In modern Japan, even some Japanese who are interested in Japanese culture, such as tea ceremony and kimono, can pick it up. However, “Kaishi” is a very versatile paper and is one of the items that well expresses the characteristics of Japanese people.

Today I would like to talk about this paper!

What is “Kaishi”? Where do you see it?

In modern Japan, the tea ceremony is the most frequently used chance for kaishi.

At the tea ceremony, Japanese sweets are served with matcha. Japanese sweets that you will surely love, and the paper that is laid like a plate under the Japanese sweets is the kaishi. Even Japanese people who are not particularly interested in Japanese culture can understand that “Oh! That paper” from the above explanation.

So many ways to use Kaishi

Meal scene

In fact, Kaishi has many uses other than Japanese sweets plates. For example, in a meal scene…

  • For a saucer when you bring food to your mouth. It is NG to receive by hand.
  • When wiping dirt such as lipstick on the mouth, chopsticks, and glasses. Originally, hand towels are used to wipe hands, so other than that, we use hand towels.
  • If you hold your head with a pocket paper when removing the bones of the grilled fish, your hands will not get dirty and it will look smart. If the remaining bones are unsightly, you can put it on the fish (you can leave the paper as it is).
  • Hide your mouth when you take small bones and seeds out of your mouth. Wrap what you put out and leftover food.
  • Instead of a plate. For sweets and small items, you can use it.
  • Wrap the bottom of the glass to prevent water drops at a standing party.

Outside

Kaishi is very convenient when you go outside. For example…

  • Instead of a handkerchief. As it is water-absorbent, you can wipe your hands or sweat.
  • Instead of tissue paper. Knead well to make it soft and use.
  • For makeup repair. It can be used as a lipstick holder or as an oil remover.
  • On note paper. You can take notes even when you don’t have a notebook or notepad.
  • For one-stroke notes and small message cards. It’s more lovely than breaking a notebook.
  • Instead of a pocket envelope. Just fold it when giving care or exchanging money.

At home

Lastly, you can use it at home like in these ways…

  • For laying paper for cakes and sweets. You can use it as a plate.
  • For home party paper napkins. It’s fashionable when you display it in a glass and set it.
  • For original chopstick bags and coasters. You can enjoy it by folding it into your favorite shape like origami.
  • For laying paper such as tempura. It absorbs oil well and does not stain the dishes.
  • For wrapping when handing a little sweets. It’s cute with a twist.

Where can we buy?

It’s really versatile.

You can buy kaishi at Japanese general stores, shrines and temples, and at the tea ceremony utensils section of department stores. Of course you can also buy it at online shops.

When I find a favorite paper on my travels or outings, I buy it as a souvenir for myself. There are plain types, seasonal patterns and cute patterns. Most of them can be bought for less than 1000 yen. Let’s find your favorite!

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