Kurotani is the name of the village (now part of Ayabe city) where they make Kurotani washi paper. This is the entrance to the small village in a valley.

Kurotani Village started making washi about 800 years ago when 16 warriors of the Heike Clan defeated by the Minamoto Clan in Kyoto (Genpei War 1180–1185) fled and hid here to avoid capture. They and the local farmers made a living in summer by growing rice, but since there was nothing to do in winter, they thought of making washi paper. Washi can only be made in winter since it requires cold water.

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