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

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

Watoji (Japanese bookbinding) was originally introduced into
Japan from China in the early Heian period, and gradually
formed its Japanese characteristic. Nowadays, there's very little
chance to see watoji, right?
Here I would like to explain some methods and types
of watoji that even the Japanese don't know.

Watoji's history

The origin of watojibon (Japanese bookbinding books) can be traced back to more than a thousand of years ago. It was first introduced into Japan in the Heian period by Kukai after he learned "Sanjujosasshi" in China. (Sanjujosasshi was a volume binded in the way of sticking the folded paper together and then pasting the cover with paste.)

In the early Heian period "Look~! It's Kochobon~" "Hum~ There isn't thread~! So it's Detchoso!"

It's called Kochobon in China,
but "Detchoso" in Japan,
for it has no thread.

"Yamato Toji" that don't use thread, and "Mincho Toji" (Ming court binding) made by the method called Fukuro Toji (Traditional Chinese bookbinding)  Introduced from China in the Kamakura period "Just have a look" And

It is Yamato Toji made it develope. Yamato Toji refers to a way of bookbinding that uses thread instead of paste, and ties the two places of the cover with strings.
Later, a "Fukuro Toji" (Traditional Chinese bookbinding) form of "Mincho Toji" (Ming court binding), which was adopted from Sung Dynasty to Ming Dynasty in China, was introduced into Japan in the Kamakura period.

In the Edo period: Woodblock printing boomed Yotsume Toji (Japanese four-hole bookbinding), Kouki Toji (noble binding), Asanoha Toji (hemp leaf bookbinding), Kikko Toji (tortoise shell binding) and so on

In the Edo period, the publishing by woodblock printing boomed. There were so many craftsmen focusing on developing Japanese books by using their skills and talents, and various bookbinding methods were created.
Besides Yotsume Toji (Japanese four-hole bookbinding), the representative one, there are also Kouki Toji (noble binding), Kikko Toji (tortoise shell binding), Asanoha Toji (hemp leaf bookbinding) and so on.

Types of watoji

Watoji can be divided roughly into four types.
Here I want to talk about them together with
their binding methods.

The basis for all binding methods *Yotsume Toji (Japanese four-hole bookbinding)

The simplest and easiest binding method.
It is also called Mincho Toji (Ming court binding),
and is the basis for all binding methods.
There are also "Mitsume" (three-hole) and "Itsutsume"
(five-hole), which are recommended for beginners.

How to Yotsume toji Here I have completed the step called "kadogire". (Kadogire means covering the book corners with corner-piece cloth or paper.) ① Find two points which are 1 cm apart from the long side and 1.5 cm apart from the short side, and find the trisection points between them, and then puncture all these points. Pass the needle through the second top hole between the cover and the text sheets. ② Pass the needle from the top through the adjacent hole lower than it ③ Turn the needle down from the long side and pass the needle through the same hole, then the bottom hole. ④ Turn the needle down from the short side and pass the needle through the same hole. ⑤ Pass the needle from the long side in the same way as step ④ ⑥ Pass the needle through the hole in step ② from above ⑦ Pass the needle through the hole in step ① from below, and pass the needle in the same way as step ⑤ ⑧ Pass the needle through the top hole ⑨ Pass the needle from the short side in the same way as step ④ ⑩ Pass the needle from the long side in the same way as step ⑤ 11 Pass the needle through the hole in step ①, and make a loose loop, then pass the loop under the needle thread to knot 12 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 Created by the Kangxi emperor of the Qing Dynasty? Kouki Toji (noble binding)

Sometimes also called noble binding. It is a binding method in which the thread is vertically and horizontally tied to the touch part of the Yotsume Toji (Japanese four-hole bookbinding). It also plays a role of decorating and preventing the corners of book spine from rolling up. It is said to be the Kangxi emperor of the Qing Dynasty who created this book binding method, the name of which conveys an atmosphere of nobility.

How to Kouki Toji The first five steps are the same as Yotsume Toji (Japanese four-hole bookbinding). Here I have already punctured the holes which are 0.5 cm apart from the long side and 1 cm apart from the short side. ① Pass the needle through the hole of the corner from above, and turn the needle above the short side, then pass it through the same hole. ② Pass the needle from the long side in the same way of step ①, and pass the needle through the hole above from below ③ Pass the needle through the top three holes in the same way as the Naminui method (running stitching). ④ Pass the needle in the same way as step ① and step ② ⑤ Pass the needle through the top hole of the corner from below, and then pass the needle in the same way as step ① and step ② ⑥ Pass the needle through the hole in step ④ from above, and return to the first hole. ⑦ Turn the needle down from the long side and pass the needle in the same way as step ① ⑧ Make a loose loop, and pass the loop under the needle thread to knot ⑨  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

To be Continued...

Draft storyboard & illustration by Misato Yamada

TOKYO DESIGNER GAKUIN COLLEGE

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