Friday, July 1, 2011

Japanese Bookbinding

Recently we had an interesting book from the circulation collection come through the preservation lab. It was a book filled with beautiful Ukiyo-e prints from the Japanese printmaker Hokusai.

Once upon a time it had a beautiful binding with Japanese silk bookcloth, but the binding had seen better days and it was time for it to get a new case.

This book is not your typical book because it was produced in the traditional Japanese bookbinding style. Instead of having single leaves - called folios - that make up a signature, it was made in the accordion style with Japanese side sewing.

This book (NE1325.K3 M47) among other books on Hokusai can be found in the general collections housed on the fourth floor in the Tower. To read more about Japanese bookbinding methods there is an excellent book in Special Collections entitled “Japanese Bookbinding” by Kosanji Ikegami (Z270.J3 I3713 1986). Also if you are interested in seeing some Japanese prints there is an exhibit currently at the Weatherspoon Art Museum.