The charm of Wa-toji style

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These are my Noh chant books called, Utai-bon.

Today, most books in Japan are bound using a Western-style binding machine.

But Utai-bon is bounded in the traditional Japanese style called, Wa-toji.

In addition, it is done by hand.

Utai-bon is essential for me because I often go to see Noh plays.

Because of that, I can grasp the content of a Noh play from the view point of a Noh actor.

So, I’m familiar with Wa-toji style, but most Japanese people have never touched such books made in the Wa-toji style.

I will write the charm of Wa-toji style.

“Wa” means “Japanese”, and “toji” means “binding”.

Wa-toji style is a hand sewing method for bookbinding.

Its stitching is really characteristic, and that is clear at a glance.

A silk thread is used for it.

The silk thread is soaked in glue for a few days in advance.

Because of that, the color of the silk thread comes out and becomes strong.

There are some sewing methods used in the Wa-toji style.

In the case of a Noh chant book, “Yotsume-toji” is the most popular method. 

Simple and rugged stitching is produced by the careful handwork of a craftsman.

Traditional Japanese handmade paper called Washi, is used in Wa-toji style.

A book bound in Wa-toji style feels soft.

It is wonderful to touch, and I love it.

Further more, it doesn’t change much, so it is suitable for long-term storage.

As Watoji-style is mainly done by hand, it is more expensive than an ordinary book.

Today, the electronic book market is booming. But an electronic book doesn’t suit me.

I love the feeling and smell of the paper when I turn a page. So the content of a book isn’t the only important thing for me.

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