Make Books and Boxes with Even Greater Ease

Make Books & Boxes with Even Greater Ease

Welcome to the second post in my series of Japanese bookbinding book reviews. If you missed the first post, you can read it here.

Title: Make Books and Boxes with Even Greater Ease
Author: Yo Yamazaki
ISBN: 4579210433
Publisher: Bunka Publishing Bureau
Year published: 2008
Paperback: 99 pages

Yo Yamazaki was born in Tokyo in 1962. He graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts and had his first solo exhibition in 2000.

He is also the author of another book titled Handmade Bookbinding, which was written in 2006 (it’s a different book).

To learn more about Yo, you can visit his website and his blog. Note: This website is in Japanese.

This book reads left-to-right.

Pages 8-41 of the book are dedicated to images of Yamazaki’s handmade books. He used corrugated cardboard in a number of his books, which I found really interesting. He also wrote notes to accompany each book, but I’m not sure of the content. There are no measurements included in the notes.

Click on the images below to enlarge them:

Make Books and Boxes with Even Greater Ease - pages 24-25

Pages 24-25

Make Books and Boxes with Even Greater Ease - pages 26-27

Pages 26-27

Make Books and Boxes with Even Greater Ease - pages 34-35

Pages 34-35

Pages 42-45 cover ways to add a title to the cover of your book, including use of gold tooling. Pages 46-47 cover basic bookbinding tools and materials.

Page 48 identifies the parts of a book. Pages 49-52 cover bookbinding techniques, including what appears to be tips on using jigs.

Make Books and Boxes with Even Greater Ease - pages 48-49

Pages 48-49

Page 53 includes resources for bookbinding supplies, leather, and paper.

Pages 54-99 include step-by-step instructions on how to create the books featured in the front of the book. There are no photos in this section, but there are really detailed diagrams. Measurements are given in millimeters.

Make Books and Boxes with Even Greater Ease - Pages 64-65

Pages 64-65

Overall impressions: I loved the handmade books included in this book. The main reason I bought all of these Japanese books was because I was tired of seeing the same types of book projects. This book gave me what I wanted – a different perspective. Yamazaki uses familiar materials in innovative ways – I don’t think I’ve ever seen corrugated cardboard used this manner. I was really inspired.

Each of the featured books has accompanying project directions. The process illustrations are great and in particular, the stitching diagrams are clear and easy to follow. As I mentioned in my last post, you can use an online conversion calculator to get the non-metric equivalents for each of the projects in the book.

Be advised that this book is not for a beginner. There are many sewn bindings and you’d be at a disadvantage without directions in English. Those with a basic knowledge of bookbinding technique will get more out of it. Of course, if you’re just looking for inspiration, then you’ll get that from the images.

If you’re interested in buying your own copy, you can get it from the following online shops:

You can get more information about the bindings in his book by visiting Yamazaki’s website. He has a series of photos that show some of his process. If you click on any of the photos, you’ll get a drop-down with more details.

No surprise, the details are in Japanese. You can use an online translator like Google Translate to help you read it, but then you’ll get fun stuff like this:

One pass was scooped up in the thread has been stuck in place by tape, and I like a pattern. In this image I have scooped from the bottom, “changed the way! … More freedom in the scoop from the top. It could be that way, our way With one sewing-frame itself, I think whether it’s from the slightly more comfortable.

Babel Fish wasn’t much better. If you know of a good online translator, please let me know.

9 Responses to “Make Books and Boxes with Even Greater Ease

By richard norman - 12 October 2010 Reply

An interesting book, as you say so many European books stay with the same old projects.

I believe you can get acid free micro corrugated cardboard. I think the trade name is “microflute”.

I’m a bookbinder, I run a site which is devoted to bookbinding, you may find it of interest.


By Elissa - 17 October 2010 Reply

Richard –

Since I’m a curious monkey, I looked up microflute. It’s also known as F flute. It has 128 +/- 4 flutes per lineal foot and a flute thickness of 1/32″. I am a dork.

I’ve been to your website before – your tutorials are really great. 🙂


By Ellen - 13 October 2010 Reply

Thanks for these reviews and the pictures! These are fascinating, and, yes, it’s great to see some projects outside of the usual English-language how-to books, which are becoming so redundant.

By Elissa - 17 October 2010 Reply

Ellen –

The books really are amazing. I especially love seeing the use of different materials – lots of fun mini-print fabrics and delicate washi papers.

There are 6 books in all, so more images are coming…


By Ellen - 17 October 2010 Reply

I can’t wait! You’ve had me spending way more time than I care to admit looking up these books and their authors online. Very intriguing. It’s so refreshing to see such a different take on things. The designs are wonderful.

By Elissa - 22 October 2010 Reply

Ellen –

Are you using one of the wonky translators while you shop? If not, you’re missing a great opportunity for some laughs.


By Ellen - 22 October 2010

Haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll take your recommendation…oh dear…!

By velma - 15 October 2010 Reply

love that “translation”!

By Elissa - 17 October 2010 Reply

Velma –

Google Translate has been a consistent source of laughs for me lately. Some of the translations have been so random and bizarre that they’re too inappropriate to post.

Sometimes I wish I could wash my eyes with bleach to undo what I’ve read. Blech.


Leave a Reply to Ellen

Cancel reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This