My First Etegami

When I discover a new hobby, it's like spotting a sparkly bauble hidden among a vast field of trash. Now, I've never visited a vast field full of trash, but wouldn't it be awesome to find a sparkly bauble in all that garbage? It would!

Odd introductory sentences aside, I'd like to introduce you to my latest hobby and interest; etegami.


Etegami is a very traditional Japanese form of art. It's so traditional that many true etegami artists would probably never consider anything I ever produced as true etegami. You've got to be Japanese for that to happen.

Etegami is Japanese for picture letter. E means picture and tegami means letter. Pretty simple.


I discovered an etegami blog a year or 18 months ago and since then, I've been searching for etegami supplies here in the US. These things are hard to come by, that's for sure.

And by the way, that blog I mentioned up above is run by Debbie and you can find her blog here. She introduced me to this lovely art form and maybe after you peruse her site you'll find what I found.

e3Because I'm located in Cincinnati, Ohio, finding etegami materials took many, many months. I asked around and inquired at a bunch of paper stores, specialty websites and with other bloggers. The biggest issue I found was trying to find the right kind of paper. See, etegami paper is called Washi in Japan. Here, Washi paper means origami paper. Needless to say, there's a translation issue.

I eventually found some help from a native of Japan who told me a key word I'm looking for is 'hondashi' with regards to finding the right paper.


I finally located the right etegami paper from Jet Pens. I have ordered three times from Jet Pens so far and they've had absolutely wonderful, fast service. I have no problem recommending them to any of my readers. Here is a link to the paper:


Anyway, I wanted to share with you my first etegami. I made this for my husband for his birthday and he was really excited to receive it. I used the paper I linked to above along with a Kuretaki Tegami Brush Pen (also available from Jet Pens) and some watercolors for the color. Not true traditional etegami but it's as good as I can get here in Cincinnati for now.