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  • How to Use ‘Kaishi’ (Paper Washi)

How to Use ‘Kaishi’ (Paper Washi)

Linda who is living in Japan is showing Ben to a Japanese sweet shop and they are at the shop now.

Ben “Linda, you ordered a lot but are you going to eat all that by yourself?”

Linda “Let’s eat. But before doing so…”

Ben “What’s that?”

Ben “Linda, what is this?”

Linda “It’s called ‘Kaishi’.”
Ben “Kaishi... ?”

Kaishi’s sizes and types

Linda “Yeah. In Japan, since a long time ago… when everybody was wearing kimonos,
    they have been using ‘Kaishi’ like tissue papers.
    Even now, many kinds of Kaishi are sold at gift shops and stationary stores.
    There are ones with different colors, designs… and many varieties of Kaishi are sold.”

Linda “I brought some for you. I thought you can use it too. There are different sizes.
    For men, 17.5cm x 20cm and for women, 14.5cm x 17.5cm are normally used.
    Men’s are bigger.”

Ben “Ok. Thanks.”

How to use ‘kaishi’ at the restaurant.

Linda “Kaishi can be used in many ways… First, using it when eating Japanese food is considered as a basic knowledge. Especially, it is used at the tea ceremony and at Kaiseki style restaurants. It’s a necessity at those places. Fold Kaishi in half like this…”

Linda “Hold Kaishi with the folded side facing you. Then use Kaishi like a dish when picking
    up food with your chopsticks to prevent food from falling.”

Linda “Relax and enjoy your food.”
Ben “Oh…I see.”

Using wet towel to wipe off your face is…

Ben “It’s so hot today.”
Linda “Wait!”

Linda “In Japan, when you go out to eat, Oshibori is provided often…But to wipe your face with Oshibori is considered to be impolite. Oshibori is used to wipe only your hands.”

Linda “So, in that situation… you can use Kaishi to wipe off your face… like this.”

Linda “Kaishi, absorbs water, so you can wipe off your face… It’s possible to use it in place of a handkerchief.”

Linda “Kaishi can also be used to touch up your make up. Like when applying your lipstick, you can retouch it with using Kaishi to wipe your lipstick off and apply new lipstick. Also, Kaishi can be used to wipe off excess oil off the surface of your face.”
Ben “Oh, really?”

Use as a memo

Linda “Kaishi does not tear easily like tissue paper… So when you want to write something,
    you can use it as a memo too. Also, when giving a present, you can use it as a
    message card. It is nice.”

Zankazutsumi ‘Wrapping leftover Japanese sweets’

Ben “What are you doing?”
Linda “These Japanese sweets are so cute so I want to take leftovers home like this.”

Linda “In Japan, when you wish to take home leftover Japanese sweets, folding ‘Kaishi’ like this will work… It’s used as a wrapping for leftovers. First place leftover Japanese sweets at the center of ‘Kaishi’. Then fold it into half toward you like this. When folding this, this line should be parallel to you and from the table.”

Linda “Fold the paper ‘Kaishi’ that is in front of you which is the bottom part of ‘Kaishi’ like this into half again…”

Linda “Then fold again, about 5 mm from the bottom.”

Linda “Next, fold both ends toward the back …”

Linda “It should look like this when looking from the back. Leftover wrapping paper is complete. Thank you for treating me to Japanese sweets.”
Ben “Sure… (laughing). You’re welcome.”