Introduction to Miniature Books: Including Materials to Make Them Now

Japanese bookbinding book: Introduction to Miniature Books - Including Materials to Make Them Now

Welcome to my fifth post in my series of Japanese bookbinding book reviews.

I bought this book back in at the Kinokuniya in Beaverton, OR (near Portland). I was in town for the Focus on Book Arts conference and thought I’d swing by the store on my way there.

If you decide to check out the bookstore, please note that it’s located inside the Uwajimaya Asian Food Market – it’s really weird.

Title: Introduction to Miniature Books: Including Materials to Make Them Now (many thanks to Jill for the translation)
Author: Misuzudo Bindery
ISBN: 978-4-7661-2474-3
Publisher:  Graphics, Inc.
Year published: 2013
Paperback: 47 pages

This book reads left-to-right.

Let me start off by saying that this book is way cool for the following reason – it includes all of the project materials you need in a box that’s built into the back cover. This is super-awesome because you don’t have to cut up the pages of the book. Hooray! 

The design of this book is really clever.

Japanese bookbinding manual with built-in box for supplies

The stash of materials even includes mull!

Japanese bookbinding manual with built-in box for supplies

Let’s check out the content of the book. Pages 6-7 show images of which of the included materials you need to complete each project (click on the images to enlarge).

Japanese bookbinding book - page 6

Page 6

Japanese bookbinding book - page 7

Page 7

Pages 8-10 cover things such as basic bookbinding tools, the parts of a book, how to glue out paper, and paper grain.

Japanese bookbinding book - page 8

Page 8

Japanese bookbinding book - page 9

Page 9

Pages 11-46 focus on four book projects. The images that follow show the progression of content for each project.

Each section starts with an image of a book:

Japanese bookbinding book - Page 20

Page 20

The top of the next page identifies which included materials you need to complete the project (including measurements) and the bottom half includes the beginning of the directions on how to create the book:

Japanese bookbinding book - Page 21

Page 21

Page 47 offers information about the author’s studio, as well as a paper store (TAKEO) that is located in the same building.

Japanese bookbinding book - page 47

Page 47

Overall impressions:

One of my biggest peeves about bookbinding manuals is when you’re required to cut up the book in order to complete projects. I like my books in one piece, thank you. The design of this book addresses this issue in the most fabulous manner – all the materials you need are housed within the book structure. You get to work on the featured projects without destroying your book in the process – genius!

A beginner shouldn’t have any trouble completing the projects in this book. The photos and diagrams in the directions are clear and easy to follow. The techniques learned from this book can be easily translated into future work. Please note that specific project measurements in provided in millimeters. You can use an online conversion calculator to get the non-metric equivalents. 

Even though this book is more appropriate for those just starting out in the book arts, I’m still glad I purchased it. I’m so impressed with the overall presentation of the material and how all of the supplies are provided to you. The book would make a great gift. For you.

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

4 Responses to “Introduction to Miniature Books: Including Materials to Make Them Now

By lizardsw - 15 June 2016 Reply

This Book structure is a great idea. Thanks.
Stores inside markets, like little ‘fast food’ windows are fun to find, and often gems!

By Elissa - 19 June 2016 Reply

I totally agree – I once found paper in a hardware store. You never know where you’ll discover a gem.


By daria wilber - 16 June 2016 Reply

I love this! I went online to order from the Portland store and it appears to be out of stock. I will see if I can figure out the Japan site. :)!

By Elissa - 19 June 2016 Reply

Daria –

Some web browsers have a translate option, which can be very helpful with Japanese websites.

Good luck shopping!


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