Musubi toji Workshop

     Three Sample Books for “Musubi toji” workshop

I decided to change my “Yamato toji” workshop to “Musubi toji” workshop.
I mentioned about the name of “Musubi toji” in Aprils blog that this style of binding was widely known as the “Yamato toji”. However, according to a recent study by specialist binders, it is historically correct to call it the “Musubi toji “
Therefore I believe that it will be better to call this style of binding the “Musubi toji” in my studio. Concurrently, I change some materials and form for this workshop.
Recently, I introduced “Musubi toji” at the London Craft Week (please see Aprils blog 2017). During the LCW demonstration, I made a decorative type of sewing for the “Musubi toji” however, there are more variations in sewing for this bindings.
In the new workshop of Jade Bookbinding Studio, the participant will be able to make three books as follows:

Type A  It is making the decorative knot with thread in the front cover.
Type B  It simply ties up with thread in the back cover.
Type C  It is ties up with tape in the front cover

According the specialist Japanese binding book “Fumikurashoryo / 書庫渉猟” by Setsuo Kushige, there is an article with a diagram that shows how to make the knot for the “Musubi toji” binding in a 1764 book which is owned by the Imperial Bindery.
The article’s instruction indicates that the knot is made on the front cover. However, there are a number of examples of books in existence that have the knots on the back cover. For example, The Chronicles of Japan (also call as Japanese Chronicles) made in 1691 have the knots on the back cover.
 It reminds me that some bookbinders do not like to make the knot in the middle of section when they are making a single section book, and some bookbinders do not like to make the knot in the out side of the section. Both types of binders have their own reason and own beliefs.
If you would like to know more about the Musubi toji workshop, please click the  JAPANESE BINDING WORKSHOPS in the page column as above.


タイプA : 綴じ糸を使い表紙で装飾的に結ぶ製本。
タイプB : 綴じ糸を使い裏表紙で結ぶ簡素な綴じ方。

和装本の専門書の「書庫渉猟」櫛笥節男 著によりますと宮内庁書陵部にある1764年の本の中に「結び綴」の図が描かれて結びのことが言及されているそうです。それには綴じ糸は表表紙で結ぶと述べられているということですが、現存する幾つかの本は裏表紙で綴じ糸が結ばれています。例えば1691年の「日本書紀」(日本紀)は裏表紙で結ばれています。
結び綴のワークショップの内容は、上記ページコラムのJAPANESE BINDING WORKSHOPSをクリックしていただければ詳細をご覧いただけます。 

  “Musubi toji” Type A  the decorative knots in the front cover

  “Musubi toji” Type B  tie the threads in the back cover

“Musubi toji” Thpe C  tie the tapes in the front cover  

  Fumikurashoryo by Setsuo Kushige


Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park

     The Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. At this time of year, it is not necessary to go to the Chelsea Flower Show to enjoy beautiful flower gardens.
The Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, is well known for the Azalea Garden as well as the Rose Garden in Regents Park. The Richmond Park is not so far from here, however the size of the park is huge (9.55) and it is quite a long walk from the park gates to the Isabella Plantation.
My friend often visits Richmond Park and she invited me to a picnic last year, that being the first time for me to enjoy this plantation. It is a magnificent garden and we had very nice and relaxing time there.
Richmond Park is also well known for the deer roaming and the panoramic view from the King Henry’s Mound.

If you would like to know more about the Richmond Park and the Isabella Plantation, please see the sites as below.




Japanese Binding Demonstration at London Craft Week

   Musubi toji (left) and  Sensoubon Fukuro toji (right)

Designer Bookbinders will join the London Craft Week at the St. Bride Foundation again this year.
This year, I will give the two types of Japanese Binding Demonstration in the morning of Saturday the 6th of May.
One is the “Fukuro toji” this book style is considered by many to be the classic form of Japanese Binding.
It is also called the “Yotsume toji” (Four hole binding ) or “Sensoubon”(Thread line binding).
The other binding style I will be demonstrating is called the “Musubi toji”(knot binding). It is also called the “Yamato toji”. However, it is historically correct to call it the  “Musubi toji “ according to a recent study by specialist binders. (If you would like to know more about the name of Japanese Bindings please see this blog Archive November 2014)
Physical evidence would indicate that both of the binding styles were already in use during the 12th century and arstill popular in Japan as presentation books, note books and the like.
According to experts, the “Fukuro toji” style used from Kamakura era (1185~1333) but during this period there were no fixed sizes, shapes and hole positions. With the development of paper making in Japan, the book form as we would recognise today began to take shape with the standardisation of manufacture with certain rules being put in place during the Muromachi era(1338~1573).
The making text block of both bindings are almost identical. The main difference is the attachment of the covers.
“Fukuro toji” cover uses soft materials and the text block and cover are joined together with thread. There are several variations of sewing design.
“Musubi toji” can be made with either a hard cover or soft cover, moreover, it has variations of using either tape or thread for binding.
 In the demonstration, I make simple Four hole “Fukuro toji” and “Musubi toji” use soft cover with thread.
 If you would like to know more about the London Craft Week please see the following site.



London Craft Week catalogue 

  Fukuro toji (Yotsume toji)

Sample for Fukuro toji sewing variations 

Musubi toji (using hard cover and tapes) 

Musubi toji (using soft cover and thread) 


Kadenshinsho / 花伝心抄

  “Kadenshinsho” cover design

Last year, I bound a collection of photographs by Ms. Michiko Nanzawa who is a floral artist in Japan.
I got to know Ms. Nanzawa in 2015 through one of my high school friends.
She graduated from the “Constance Spry Flower School” in London and recently she established own her company “Hana tayori”(=messages from flowers) in Tokyo. (more about her information please see the website as below).

The contents of the book are a collection of essays that relate with seasonal flowers by the artist and each page has a photograph of her work.  When she commissioned me, she mentioned that she likes the Japanese brush stroke calligraphy title on her book that written by her mentor for this book publish, and also burgundy is one of her favorite colours. Therefore the cover design has become a combination with the Japanese calligraphy and seasonal flowers. Those flowers are represent each season and relate to her flower arrangement in the book. The book is full leather binding with hand dyed leather onlays and leather cut into designs. The endpapers are hand drawn in pastel, using the bell flowers for the motif. I try to make especially flowery expression endpapers. I hope it gives nice surprise when people open this rather quiet cover design book.

彼女はロンドンの「コンスタンス スプライ フラワースクール」を卒業し、この春東京で「花たより」という会社を設立されました。(南澤さんの詳細に関しては上記のウェブサイトをご覧ください)

  “Kadenshinsho” endpapers

  The box

“Kadenshinsho” front cover  

“Kadenshinsho” back cover 



    Designer Bookbinders stand at the "Collect"

In last months post I explained a little about the Craft Fair ‘Collect’.
Collect is a contemporary craft / art fair held for 6 days at the beginning of February.
For the first time Designer Bookbinders (The rest is abbreviate to DB) applied and was able to join the event.
Last weekend, at a DB meeting we were told by the DB Collect committee that there were some sales and new contacts were made. The books were nicely displayed with visitors able to handle the books under the guidance of the DB invigilators.
DB members were very positive about ‘Collect’ and will consider joining again.
‘Collect’ is held at the Saatchi Gallery with both the private view and the open days well attended.

先月のブログでクラフトフェアの「コレクト」について少しふれましたが、コレクトは現代工芸/芸術のフェアです。2月の始めに6日の日程で開催されました。デザイナー・ブックバインダーズ(以下DBに省略)として初めての応募でしたが、このイベントに参加をすることができました。先週行われたDBの会議では、DBコレクト運営委員からいくつかの作品が売れたこと、新たな交流が成立したとの報告がありました。会場で本は良い感じに展示されており、来客者はDBの会場当番の案内のもとで実際に本を手にとって見ることができました。DBのメンバーは「コレクト」にとても前向きで、再び「コレクト」への参加することが検討されています。「コレクト」はサーチ・ギャラリーで開催され 内見会、開催日とも多くの人が訪れていました。

The “Collect” private view invitation card

The entrance of the Saatchi Gallery

Designer Bookbinders stand

 Designer Bookbinders stand

The “Collect” signboard 


Moments of Vision

       “Moments of Vision” Book & Box

Recently, I bound the book that is entitled “Moments of Vision” for the Designer Bookbinders exhibition at “Collect”.
 "Moments of Vision" is based on a lecture given by Kenneth Clark (Baron Clark) on the visual arts.
This lecture was the Romanes Lecture in Oxford in 1954. Clark went on to edit his lecture notes for publication.
Kenneth Clark was an art historian and a well known presenter for the BBC television series “Civilisation” in 1969.
I read his book “Looking at Pictures” when I was an art student and it is one of my favourite books.

The design for my binding is derived from the part of the lecture notes that the landscape of daffodils gave a "moment of vision" for the artist, the poet Sir W. Wordsworth.
The end papers are hand drawn in pastels, suggesting fields of daffodils leading onto abstracted designs of daffodils on the doublers. The abstracted daffodil design continues onto the cover with circular motifs in leather combined with yellow linen thread, expressing further visions of daffodils.

 “Collect” is the international art fair for contemporary objects that presented by Crafts Council.
This year Designer Bookbinders decided to join this fair and some of the Fellows and Licentiates have submit their books for this show. It is a new approach for the work of Designer Bookbinders to be alongside different art and craft work. I like this idea, however I am not sure if my work is suitable for “Collect”.

The “Collect” exhibition open 2nd to 6th of February 2017.
If you would like to know more about the “Collect” please see the following site.





“Moments of Vision” Inner Endpapers 

“Moments of Vision” Doublers 

“Moments of Vision” Cover