seihonshi book binder

. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .
seihonshi 製本師 bookbinder - Buchbinder
seihonya 製本屋 - seihon gyoosha 製本業者

seihon ginooshi 製本技能士

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Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book from an ordered stack of paper sheets that are folded together into sections or sometimes left as a stack of individual sheets. The stack is then bound together along one edge by either sewing with thread through the folds or by a layer of flexible adhesive. For protection, the bound stack is either wrapped in a flexible cover or attached to stiff boards. Finally, an attractive cover is adhered to the boards and a label with identifying information is attached to the covers along with additional decoration. Book artists or specialists in book decoration can greatly expand the previous explanation to include book like objects of visual art with high value and artistic merit of exceptional quality in addition to the book's content of text and illustrations.
Bookbinding is a specialized trade
that relies on basic operations of measuring, cutting, and gluing.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

- - - - - some keywords

. akahon 赤本 red book .
- and more about ezooshi 絵草子 Ezoshi, illustrated book or magazine

chitsu 帙 wrap-around box, cloth-covered stiff box

detchō, detchoosoo 粘葉装 Detchoso, paste-leaf book
(see kochōsō butterfly binding below)
pasted paper leaf book

fukuro-toji, fukurotoji 袋綴 pouch-binding
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Also read fukurotsuzuri. Also called karatoji 唐綴 and fukurozoushi 袋草子 (fukurozooshi). Lit. pouch-binding.

The most common type of book-binding in Japan, made of thin sheets of paper which are inscribed or printed on only one side, folded in half, text-side out, and stacked together. Covers are added to the front and back, and the book is stitched along the spine (the edges opposite the folds) so that each double-leaved page forms a pouch, fukuro 袋, which is open at the top and bottom. Although variations exist, typically four tiny holes are made at equidistant lengths along the spine edge and the sheets and covers are then bound together tightly with thread. The fukurotoji was introduced from China and began to replace most other binding styles after the 14c.
One of the earliest examples is the Anthology of Regent Ichijou ICHIJOU SESSHOUSHUU 一条摂政集 (mid-12c). Double-leaved pages are pasted together indicating the initial stage of pouch-binding.
- source : JAANUS -

hanshitagaki 版下書き copyist

. horishi 彫り師 block carver .

kansusoo, kansusō 巻子装 Kansuso, scroll binding  copyist
a binding style of a horizontally long sized scroll of paper

. kibyooshi 黄表紙 Kibyoshi, "yellow book covers" .

kikai-zuri 機械刷り machine printing

kochōsō, koochoosoo 胡蝶装 “butterfly binding”
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Lit. butterfly book.
A type of book-binding, which, according to some, is the same as *detchousou (detchoosoo, detchōsō 粘葉装 (paste-leaf book). Others maintain that it is the same as *retchousou 列帖装 (a multisection book). The finished book opens so that each pair of leaves joined with paste stand out at an angle like the wings of a butterfly.
The term kochousou (Ch: hudiezhuang) was used for this type of paste binding in China.

retchōsō, retchoosoo 列帖装 Retchoso
Also tetsuyousou (tetsuyoosoo) 綴葉装 or retsuyousou (retsuyoosoo) 列葉装 retsuyoso.
A multisection book. A type of Japanese book-binding. The first three to five sheets of paper are piled up and folded in half to make a set. Then several sets of folded sheets are arranged in a neat pile with the folded edges forming the spine. The binding is made by sewing the sections together using a complex and time-consuming procedure. The finished book, therefore, can be opened perfectly flat.
Retchousou originated in Japan in the 12c, and was widly used for works of native literature, including narrative stories, *nou 能 texts, and anthologies of Japanese poetry (waka 和歌). It was not used for Chinese or Buddhist texts. Confusingly, the terms *kochousou 胡蝶装 (butterfly book) and *yamatotoji 大和綴 are sometimes used to refer to multisection books, and during the late Edo period even the term *detchousou 粘葉装 became confused with retchousou.
- source : JAANUS -

seihon 製本 bookbinding -
seihonjo 製本所 bookbinding factory, bookbindery, Buchbinderei

. surishi 摺り師 printer .

techōsō (see Yamato toji)
tetsuyoosoo, tetsuyōsō 綴葉装 “multisection” binding

wasoobon, wasoohon 和装本 Japanese book making
wahon 和本 Japanese Book

yamato-toji 大和綴 Yamato binding technique
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Also musubitoji 結び綴じ, lit. knot-binding.

The simplest style of book-binding and usually a type of pouch-binding fukurotoji 袋綴. The process of making yamatotoji involves punching four (or sometimes two) horizontal slits in the book near the spine and threading a flat cord (or sometimes a strip of paper) through each pair of slits. The cord ends are brought to the front, and each cord is secured tightly with a square knot.
Yamatotoji also uses long corner pieces added to strengthen the otherwise unsupported corners. Extant examples, dating from the 12c, are decorative books, often waka 和歌 anthologies, in which colorfully designed cords and front and back covers are used. This binding style, is sometimes called kochousou 胡蝶装 (kochoso), although this generally refers to a different type of book-binding.
- source : JAANUS -


the Book in Japan:
A Cultural History from the Beginnings to the Nineteenth Century
by Peter F. Kornicki (Author)

This monograph covers every major aspect of the book in traditional Japan: its place in Japanese history; books as material objects; manuscript cultures; printing; the Edo period book trade; authors and readers; and importation and exportation."
- at amazon com and google books -


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Japanese Bookbinding
Here is a brief sketch of the development of the Japanese book binding trade from its early development to its commercial beginnings and eventual industrialization written by Dana Gee.
The word in Japanese for bookbinding is seihon.

Papermaking was developed in China during the Han dynasty in the second century AD; the earliest recorded reference to papermaking in Japan was around 610 AD. The earliest “books” were calligraphed paper rolls. Beginning during the Tang dynasty period in China (618-907), Buddhist texts were folded accordion style, making the texts easier to handle, less fragile. The folded edges form the edges of the pages. This is called 折本 orihon (concertina or accordion-style binding) in Japan, common up until the nineteenth century, and is still used. In addition to Buddhist sutras, this form was used for maps, calendars and some types of reference books.

Also developed during the Chinese Tang period, the “butterfly binding” (detchō or kochōsō in Japan) came into use, mostly for printed books. Each piece of paper was folded in half and laid on top of its predecessor; a cover was glued to the folded edges. When opened, each pair of pages “tends to stand up with an effect resembling the wings of a butterfly.”i

From the late Heian period (794-1185) onwards, another technique, yamato-toji (or techōsō) was used, mostly for manuscripts of Japanese literary works. Folded pages were placed one inside the other forming a booklet or fascicle, and thread was used to sew them together along the fold, and several of these would be joined together to make one volume.ii

By the time the book trade in Japan became established, in the Tokugawa or Edo period (1603-1867), the form known as fukuro-toji was the most common type of Japanese binding. Practised in China early as the Tang period, widespread by the Ming dynasty period (1368-1644), and transmitted to Japan in the Muromachi period (1392-1573), by end of which, in the late 16th century, it had become the standard form for printed books. Each page had printed or handwritten text on one side only, folded with the text on the outside, and placed on top of its predecessor; assembled pages are sewn together, the stitches passing through the blank margins next to the loose edges, so the sewn edges form the spine and folds form the edges of pages. This stringbound style continued through the Meiji period.

Books were handmade and calligraphed until the advent of block printing, originating in China, with the earliest known East Asian examples produced in Japan and Korea in the eighth century. Texts produced for the reading public were not introduced until much later in the Heian period, in the eleventh century. In the Kamakura period the temples of Kyoto began printing; it was the center of printing for the next 500 years. By the Tokugawa period, most books were produced in three cities: Edo, Kyoto and Osaka. It was during this period that the rapid growth of the publishing industry created the publishing houses, guilds and book trade professions. Printing shifted from private printing under patronage to mostly commercial printing by the mid 17th century. Movable type was introduced in the mid 16th century, but woodblock printing was dominant until the 1880s.

During the Tokugawa period, the process for producing a book was a collaboration of artists and craftsmen and women. First the text would be given to the copyist, or hanshitagaki (the copy was called the hanshita). The copied text would be given to the block carver, horishi. The carved block would be passed to the printer – surishi – and after printing to another worker for page alignment. The maker of covers was the hyoshiya. Book covers would be paper with thick backing; from about the 17th century onward, design became an important part of commercialization and marketing.

By early Meiji the covers were stiffer, made of cardboard. The printed pages and covers would be passed to a binder who sewed them together (seihongyousha or seihonya – the first word refers more to the individual, although it can refer to the business; the second word refers more to the shop – it is a question of emphasis).iii The word shitateya was generally used for a person who finished off sewing jobs and the word shitate was sometimes used for the final stages of production of books including covers and sewing.iv A book having soft covers would have a chitsu, or wrap-around box, made of stiff cardboard covered in cloth. Then the completed work (with printed protective paper wrappers, beginning in the second half of Tokugawa) would be sent to the bookseller.v

In the Tokugawa period, book covers began to evolve from simple undecorated colored paper to more artistic design work. Sometimes the color of the cover would be based on content. In Edo in the 18th century it was common for lighter genres of fiction to have different color covers, the genre names derived from the color: akahon “red books” and kibyoshi “yellow covers.”vi In the seventeenth century, literary works began to regularly include illustrations; artists were named in colophons. Book cover designs became more elaborate, with embossed or burnished paper designs, and later color woodblock prints from popular ukiyo-e artists. In the 19th century, lavish color woodblock covers were made for the elaborately designed illustrated popular fiction books called gōkan.vii

With larger firms, all the book trade craftspeople would work together in-house – “but smaller-scale publishers contracted some parts of the process out to sub-contracting specialists like block-carvers and binders, and cover-makers ran their own separate firms from the early seventeenth century onwards.”viii Bookbinders did not get credit like publishers/booksellers, artists or designers. Sometimes copyists and block carvers were named in colophon, but rarely binders.

Women worked as binders during the Tokugawa period.
Peter Kornicki, in The book in Japan: a cultural history from the beginnings to the nineteenth century, says: “… although the whole process of production and distribution of books is commonly presented as if it were exclusively male, this picture needs some correction … it seems that bookbinding was often undertaken, at least in 19th century, by women in the publisher’s household, and there is a record in a book published in 1716 to the effect that copyist responsible for the clean copy or hanshita was a woman. … a few women were active as publishers and booksellers, having inherited the family firms when there were no male heirs available.”ix Other binders transitioned to different roles; Honda Ichijirō, head of the publishing house Unkindō, came from a bookbinding family.x

The transition from all hand work to kikai zuri , or machine printing, didn’t start in earnest until the 1880s; books transitioned from monotypes to hybrids with woodblock, or collotype under-images with woodblock printing on top, to fully machine printed materials, perfect bound Western style. Traditional binding is still practiced.
Here are some illustrations of different styles of book covers:

1929: TSUDA SEIFŪ, designer. (a page from) SŌTEI ZUAN-SHŪ Dai-Ishū.

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- source : bookbindersmuseum.org -

gajoosoo, gajoo jitate 画帖仕立て album binding

orijoo, orijō 折帖, folded binding,
accordion-style binding with thicker paper


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Printing and Publishing
Pre-Modern Printing
- - - - - Tokugawa Period
..... Roughly 300 titles were produced in the 1590s-1630s using moveable type, .....
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The earliest publishing houses emerged in Kyoto around 1600; simply called hon'ya (bookstores) they engaged in both printing/publishing and retail, and numbered over a hundred by the 1630s.
- snip -
Over the course of the entire Edo period, an estimated 3,757 publishing/bookstore operations were established in Japan, 1,530 of which went out of business before the end of the period.
- - - - - Process
Publishers would often initiate projects, deciding on themes and hiring illustrators or print designers. The illustrators would then submit their designs to the publisher, who would then take over much of the remainder of the process.
- hangiya (板木屋, block-carver)
- copyist or hanshitagaki (版下書)
- nishiki-e and surimono
- the verb 上梓 (jôshi), meaning "to print" or "to publish."
- woodblocks, known as zôhan (蔵版)
- - - - - Paper
- hemp (mashi 麻紙) - kôzo (楮) - Bamboo paper (tôshi 唐紙 or gasenshi 画箋紙)
- - - - - Pigments
- hide-glue called nikawa
Sumi - the same black ink used for painting and calligraphy was used for printing blacks and greys.
White pigments made from seashell (gofun) or lead oxide (enpaku)
Dayflower blue (tsuyukusa) - a light blue hue which reacts easily to moisture, turning yellow.
Prussian blue - the first chemical/artificial pigment developed in the world (i.e. deriving directly from neither vegetable or mineral sources); first used in Japan in 1829; a deep, rich blue that does not fade or discolor.
Beni (safflower red), used to produce various shades of red, pink, orange, and yellow.
Purples obtained by mixing dayflower blue with safflower red, or by other means.

- reference source : wiki.samurai-archives.com/index -
(very extensive reference !)


The World of the Japanese Illustrated Book
The Pulverer Collection, acquired in its entirety by the Freer Gallery of Art in 2007, includes numerous rare and pristine examples of Japanese illustrated books produced in the Edo period and beyond.
..... This online catalogue offers three ways of searching, and provides a set of annotation and comparison tools to use while researching the collection.
- source : pulverer.si.edu -

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- - - - - H A I K U and S E N R Y U - - - - -

danboo ya nori no ka amaki seihonba

heating -
the sweet smell of glue
at the bookbindery

高井北杜 Takai Hokuto


jumokugata ranpu ya haru no seihonjo

this lamp
like a tree - spring
at the bookbindery

. Miyasaka Shizuo 宮坂静生 .


- - - To join me on facebook, click the image !


. shuppansha 出版社 publishing company, book publisher .
ABC - Introduction

. kashihonya, kashihon'ya 貸本屋 booklender, booklender
furuhonya, furu-honya 古本屋 selling old books .

. - Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .

. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu poems in Edo .

. densetsu 伝説 Japanese Legends - Introduction .

[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]- - - - - #seihonshi #bookbinderedo - - - -

1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

The Private World of Surimono:
Japanese Prints from the Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian Collection

curated by Dr. Sadako Ohki,
Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art, Yale University Art Gallery