Chinese & Asians
Paper was first made in China in AD 105 by Cai Lun (or Ts'ai Lun), who was a court official in the court of the Chinese emperor Hedi (or Ho Ti), although the Chinese had probably made paper from silk fibers even earlier. Cai Lun, however, was the first to succeed in making a paper from vegetable fibers-tree bark, rags and old fish netting. For 500 years the art of papermaking was confined to China, but in 610 it was introduced into Japan, and into Central Asia about 750.
Spreading to Asia
From China, papermaking moved to Korea, where production of paper began as early as the 6th century AD. According to tradition, a Korean monk named Don-cho brought papermaking to Japan by sharing his knowledge at the Imperial Palace in about AD 610, sixty years after Buddhism was introduced in Japan. The Japanese first used paper only for official records and documentation, but with the rise of Buddhism, demand for paper grew rapidly.
Taught by Chinese papermakers, Tibetans began to make their own paper instead of their traditional writing materials. Chinese papermakers also spread their craft into Central Asia and Persia, from which it was later introduced into India by trade.
On the right is an illustration of a Japanese Sekishu- papermaker dipping a mould made of bamboo into a vat of water- mixed fibre. Behind him are some piles of paper still to be drained. For more information on the process, see Hand papermaking. _________________________________________________________
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