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Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions From A Master Craftsman Hardcover – June 1, 1986


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Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions From A Master Craftsman + Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms + Bookcraft: Techniques for Binding, Folding, and Decorating to Create Books and More
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Weatherhill; 1st edition (June 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0834801965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0834801967
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Japanese (translation)

About the Author

Kojiro Ikegami, third generation in a line of professional bookbinders, is one of the few full-time practitioners of the craft in Japan. He has repaired innumerable antiquarian books, many designated as national treasures or important cultural properties, at his workshop in the Tokyo National Museum. In 1979 he received a distinguished government award—the Sixth Class Order of the Rising Sun—for his contribution to the conservation of significant books in Japan's history. Recently retired, he is succeeded by his son Yukio, who continues the family profession at the museum workshop and at their home studio in Tokyo.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
A valuable addition to the library of a paper craftsman.
Joan Mansson
The illustrations and directions are very clear and can be followed very closely or used as a jumping off point.
Sound Selector
The last chapters cover the construction of book cases and the book mending using Japanese techniques.
Eric Heupel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Eric Heupel on February 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After a brief history of bookbinding in Japan, Ikegami gives wonderful details of the tools and methods of bookbinding. Covering the tools and materials, he not only shows and details the classical, but lists more accessible western tools and materials that can be used as well. Ikegami begins covering the actual methods of bookbinding with a section on the basic techniques used. What follow are detailed descriptions of the construction of 19 different book styles, grouped into categories ( Four-Hole, Accordian, Ledgers, Other.) The last chapters cover the construction of book cases and the book mending using Japanese techniques. Finally appendices include an extensive Selected reading list (with both English and Japanese titles), and a suppliers list. Throughout the book the numerous illustrations are extremely clear, and used to show the step by step construction of the books. The text accompanying them is detailed and clear. 8 pages of full page, color plates show each of the books described in the text.
This book has found a permanent spot on my studio bookshelf, and has in fact prompted me to renew my own love affair with Japanese books. I have already completed two projects, with nice results, after only 1 week with copy of this book from the library. Ordered my own copy today.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent introduction to the varied forms of Japanese bookbinding. As with so many other crafts in Japan, it is both like and very unlike matching Western craft.

First, there is the wide variety of different binding styles. Some are very distinctive. In the accordion and 'flutter' books, the first and last pages are bound to the covers. The rest of the pages are fan-folded, either one long strip or sheets pasted together. Other bindings, whether Chinese, Korean, or uniquely Japanese in style, tie or glue the pages into a more Western stack. The end of this book shows traditional outer covers for books, partial or complete boxes. The are made uniquely for each volume or set, to give it additional protection.

The tools, materials, and techniques are laid out clearly. The authors show first show the traditional craft, as it has been practiced since the Heian era (ca. 1000 AD). They also show how modern materials can be used instead of or in addition to the older ones. The technique for each binding or box is spelled out in clear pictures and text.

Clear technique is what makes this book. It gives the scholar a good understanding of how a master artisan would prepare or repair each artifact. It also gives the home crafter the ability to adapt classic techniques to modern uses, from keepsake albums to collections of a child's art. The structure of most Japanese books is simple enough for a child to imitate with some kind of success, even though the book's examples approach museum quality. With a little thought, the techniques can be adapted to almost any level of skill.

This is book is very enjoyable, even if you just read it. If you go ahead and try some of the techniques shown, you'll enjoy it even more. You may even get results that you'll enjoy for years to come.

//wiredweird
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Joan Mansson on April 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a professional artist I found the step by step instructions and black and white photos and drawn illustrations to be exceptional. Each part of the craft of book making including the proper tools and glues for the job are described in easy detail. A variety of Japanese style books are included in this book. A valuable addition to the library of a paper craftsman.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sound Selector on January 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As an amatuer bookbinder with varying levels of attention span, I found this book really useful. The illustrations and directions are very clear and can be followed very closely or used as a jumping off point. It covers many styles of binding, tools and paper. I especially enjoyed the pictures where the bookbinder's foot is used to to hold something down leaving the hands free to work. Ever read a craft how-to book and thought...well I could do that if I had 3 hands?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kalinides on March 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was interested in bookbinding, and loved the simplicity and elegance of japanese books. When I got the book, was easy to read and very simple instructions; In less of two weeks already made a Yotsume toji, a kikko-toji and a flutter bindings.
It is a very useful book for people never attempt BB before, because japanese books have less pages and require less steps than traditional western books. No mention the creative ways of the different types of books can be made.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pavo Real on January 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is an amazing introduction to the art of bookbinding. The author included a section on the history and structure of traditional Japanese books, which is very enlightening. The chapter on tools and materials is very informative and presents the reader with options to substitute traditional tools for modern, readily available implements. The instructions form the rest of the book and are extremely complete, with drawings and black and white photographs that illustrate each step of the process, lists of materials and tools and a brief introduction on the history and uses of each type of binding. A great resource for beginners, this book teaches the basic techniques needed to progress to more complicated designs.
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