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Requ co.,ltd

Coporate Profille

Requ co.,ltd, previously known as Nakaoka Constructions, was first established in 1954. Founded as a civil engineering and construction company, washi production was added to Requ co.,ltd after receiving a request from the Commerce and Industry Association of Uchiko-cho. In May 2010, it produced the “breathing washi”, which is a product able to absorb water and gas particles. The name “Requ” is coined from two words- “Reform” and “Space (Qu[Ku]-kan)”. Requ co.,ltd has engaged in 50 construction projects including hotels and restaurants, applying washi into interior designs, furniture and lighting.


The origins of this company, Uchiko-cho/ Ikazaki-cho of Kita-gun in Aichi Prefecture, had a rich pool of resources for making washi such as plants like kozo and mitsumata. Therefore, washi production became popular in the area. The area used to be occupied by the Old Ozu Clan so it had more than 350 years of connection with the Ozu Washi. There were more than 400 washi craftsmen at the end of Meiji era, but the unfortunate present is there are only a few craftsmen who have inherited the tradition.

Feeling the threat of disappearing art of washi, the Economy and Industry Association of Uchiko-cho started to promote washi brand Ikazaki Washi in 2006, efforts have been invested in selling the products within the country and abroad. This project was supported and part of the Japan Brand Development Assistance Program.


The person-in-charge of the design of washi, Yukari Sato, says that it is necessary to produce and provide goods that meet the needs of the people today. In other words, the utmost importance is to create the new value of washi. The method of production of washi in this company differs from that of traditional methods: It does not require highly sophisticated techniques. This is a way of blending both the traditional and modern technical perspective. Currently, retired craftsmen still serves the company occasionally, whereas young craftsman are also striving to reach new heights.


One characteristic of the washi made by this company is the usage of koyori washi, which is a type of thin-thread-shaped washi. The technique is koyoshi washi are knocked onto a rectangular wooden plate by nails, where the koyoshi washi is hung from the nails and arranged into a web-shape. The fibre taken from kozo and mitsumata are added to the washi before drying it, forming a thin translucent layer of skin that gives a unique texture of transparency.

This technique, compared to the professional ones, is relatively simple and could be applied to large size pieces. The maximum limit is 2.8m by 1.4m. Since the intersected web of washi is a special feature of koyori washi, by changing the size of the webs, or the angles of intersection, the thickness of the washi can be easily adjusted.

By ionic decomposing the skin of kozo (a type of material that contains zeolite) a brand new washi product, which has the ability to absorb liquid and gas particles, was created in 2009. This new product named as “breathing washi” functions as temperature adjustments and air fresheners. It could also protect users from formaldehyde and sick building syndromes.

Requ co.,ltd


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