Chirimen gami-e (縮緬紙), also known as crepe paper prints, is a traditional Japanese art form that dates back to the late 19th century. This technique involves using chirimen, a type of crepe paper, to create beautiful and intricate prints. The use of chirimen paper in art can be traced back to the Edo period, when it was used to make dolls and other decorative objects. However, it was not until the Meiji period that the technique of chirimen gami-e was developed.

To create chirimen gami-e, artists use a variety of techniques, including woodblock printing, stenciling, and hand painting. The chirimen paper is first dampened, then stretched and pasted onto a wooden block. The design is then applied to the paper using a variety of methods, depending on the desired effect. The result is a beautiful, textured print that captures the delicate beauty of traditional Japanese art.

Chirimen gami-e gained popularity in the early 20th century, when it was used to create postcards, small prints and small books that could be easily mass-produced. Many of these prints were exported to the West and became highly sought after by collectors. A notable publishing making extensive usage of this printing technique was T. Hasegawa Publishing. Today, chirimen gami-e is still produced by a small number of artisans in Japan, and remains a popular souvenir for visitors to the country.

One of the most famous chirimen gami-e artists was Suzuki Harunobu, who lived during the Edo period. Harunobu is known for his beautiful depictions of women, which were created using a combination of woodblock printing and hand painting on chirimen paper. His prints were highly influential in the development of chirimen gami-e, and continue to inspire artists today.


  1. “Crepe Paper Prints,” The Art of Japan.
  2. “Chirimen,” Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square.
  3. “Suzuki Harunobu,” Japan Arts Council.
  4. “Chirimen Gami-e: Crepe Paper Art,” Japan Travel.