The stencils are resisted with a rice paste. Each master seems to have their own recipe. The basic ingredients are glutinous rice flour, fine rice bran and slaked lime. According to the material being stencilled and the complexity and fineness of the stencil itself the elasticity and thickness of the paste is adjusted. The paste is also used to size the 6 meter long boards to attach the cloth to. The material must be stuck on firmly but leave no paste residue on the back when peeled off. Each sizing of the board lasts approximately five uses.
We boiled the balls of mochi rice paste on an old wood fire stove for three hours and then stirred and mixed and added the boiling goop water to get the exact right consistency. It was an overwhelming amount of sensory information. Our eyes met in disbelief at the process and rolled upwards in solidarity worship of these master craftsmen.