Scrap paper buyer

Kidai Shoran (detail) © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin), former collection of Hans-Joachim and Inge Küster, gift of Manfred Bohms 2002, photography: Tadao Kodaira

You might say that Edo was an “SDGs society” because all sorts of things were recycled and reused, from clothes to everyday items to human waste. There was a market for scrap paper, including old account ledgers, letters, newspapers, and books. Washi paper was recycled into new paper. This man is weighing the paper he has collected with a balance scale.