Even the Japanese Don't Know!? Methods and Types of Watoji ~Part2~

Even the Japanese Don't Know!? Methods and Types of Watoji ~Part2~

Even the Japanese Don't Know!? Methods and Types of Watoji ~part1~

"* Asanoha Toji (hemp leaf bookbinding) Created by the Kangxi emperor of the Qing Dynasty? The most beautiful!?"

It is a bookbinding method which forms a pattern looking like the Japanese pattern “Asanoha” (hemp leaf).
“Asanohagara” (hemp leaf pattern) is a geometric pattern based on the regular hexagon from ancient times in Japan. It is so named for its shape similar to a hemp leaf.
In the past, there was a custom in Japan to make a newborn baby swaddled in the cloth with hemp leaf patterns. During the old days when the mortality was quite high, this pattern conveyed people’s desire to raise healthy children and sweep away ill fortune.
It may be more like a kind of decoration when used in the process of bookbinding, but I, the writer of this article, like its cute look very much.

The first eight steps are the same as Kouki Toji (noble binding). Here I have punched the three holes which are 0.5 cm apart from the long side. ① Pass the needle through the hole above and turn the needle upward from the long side, and pass the needle through the same hole ② Pass the needle through the adjacent hole above from below, and pass the needle through the hole in step ① from above ③ Pass the needle from below through the first hole, and then pass the needle from above through the middle hole. Turn the needle upward from the long side and pass the needle through the same hole. ④ Pass the needle from below through the adjacent hole lower than it, and pass the needle in the same way as step ③. ⑤ Pass the needle in the same way as step ②, and then pass the needle through the holes one by one to the top hole in the same way as Naminui method (running stitching). At last, return to the very first hole ⑥ Make a loose loop, and pass the loop under the needle thread to knot ⑦ Pass the needle from the cover and the text sheets through the hole in step ①, and cut off the thread that is not needed, then it is done Used for record books of days to celebrate  Kikko Toji (tortoise shell binding)

It's a bookbinding method in which a pattern similar to "Kikkogara" (tortoise shell pattern), a kind of Japanese pattern, is formed. During this binding process, each two holes on every oblique line of Yotsume Toji (Japanese four-hole bookbinding) are punched, showing a pattern of tortoise shell.
This bookbinding method is so named for the "Kikkogara" (tortoise shell pattern) of its thread. It's seemed to be used to bind guest books of gatherings.
Hold the book sideways, can you see a tortoise shell pattern?

"① Find two points 1cm apart from the long side and 1.5cm apart from the short side, and find the trisection points between them, as well as each two points under those four points and 1 cm apart from them. Then puncture all the points. Pass the needle through the second hole from the top between the cover and the text sheet. ② Turn the needle down from the long side and pass the needle through the same hole, then pass the needle from above through the adjacent hole above it. ③ Turn the needle upward from the long side and pass it through the same hole in the same way as step ②. Then pass the needle from below through the hole in step ①, and then through the adjacent hole below it from above. ④ Pass the needle through in the same way as step ②, then through the adjacent hole lower than it from above. ⑤ Pass the needle through in the same way as step ② to ④, then through the adjacent hole lower than it from above. ⑥ Pass the needle through in the same way as step ⑤, then turn the needle down from the short side and pass it through the same hole, then pass the needle through the adjacent hole above it from above ⑦ Pass the needle through the hole two pieces above it in the same way as Naminui method (running stitching) ⑧ Pass the needle in the same way as step ⑤, and turn it down from the short side and pass the needle through the same hole, then pass the needle through the hole in step ① from below ⑨Make a loose loop, and pass the loop under the needle thread to knot ⑩ Pass the needle from the cover and the text sheets through the hole in step ①, and cut off the thread that is not needed, then it is done" "Actually have a try and challenge the Asanoha Toji (hemp leaf bookbinding)! What you need ・ Text sheets ・ Cover sheet ・ Flyleaf (paper between text sheets and cover sheet) ・ Corner-piece paper (you can use a masking tape as well) ・ Washi paper for temporary fixing (you can use standard-size Japanese writing paper as well) ・ Binding thread (you can use embroidery thread as well) ・ Needle ・ Thread snips ・ Hole punch ・ Hammer ・ Utility knife ・ Ruler ・ Cutting mat ・ Old magazines (to be put at the bottom)" "■ Notes ・ When you check the method on the net, you may find something simplified or wrong. But the difference between them is basically whether the bookbinding will last for a long time, so please find the method that suits you. ・ There is a step called ""kadogire"", which needs you to cover the book corner with a piece of cloth or paper to protect it.  You can use masking tape as well. ・ Before you punch the holes for threading, please prepare a mallet, a cutting mat and old magazines, etc. Punching holes with your bare hands may lead to injury or easily leave holes in the table. (The cutting mat is easily pierced.)" "How was it? Watoji is not very common now, but it actually includes many types according to the purpose and design. In addition to the types explained above, you can also design original text for binding, or try the Mitsume Toji (Japanese three-hole bookbinding) method. It's interesting to just think about that. Have a try and challenge watoji."

Draft storyboard & illustration by Misato Yamada(TOKYO DESIGNER GAKUIN COLLEGE)

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