Nancy Jacobi

Nancy Jacobi became obsessed with fine Japanese papers in the 1970s, when she was teaching English in Japan. By the 1980s she was showing spectacular paper samples to bookbinders, artists and craftspeople from the trunk of her car. The inevitable occurred in 1982 when she opened The Japanese Paper in Toronto to not only sell quality Japanese papers but to encourage their creative use. The store became particularly known for its promotion and sale of Washi, papers made by hand in the traditional way. The enterprise thrived, until being destroyed by fire in 1993.

Jacobi rebuilt at a new location but sold the store in October 2005. It operates under the name The Paper Place and still sells a wide variety of Japanese papers.

Jacobi and her staff then concentrated on building their wholesale warehouse business. Earlier this year they moved to a spacious location in Etobicoke. They are now the largest supplier of fine Japanese papers in the world. There is still a great demand for Washi, but machines can now produce papers that look similar to authentic Washi. In 2008 it was found that fewer than 350 families remained in Japan who were still engaged in the production of paper by hand. This was the same year that Jacobi sponsored the week-long ‘World Washi Summit’, which included demonstrations and exhibitions by traditional papermakers from Japan. Since then, Nancy Jacobi and The Japanese Paper Place have hosted regular seminars, workshops, and exhibitions to show the artistic application of Washi.

The Japanese Paper Place
103 The East Mall, Unit 1, Etobicoke, ON M8Z 5X9

The Devil's Artisan would like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.