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Handmade Photobooks
Handmade photobooks with ​Japanese traditional paper (washi) and book binding method 

In Silence and In Sorrow
English and Japanese, Hosokawa-shi special edition in a folding box
日英分冊 細川紙特装版 函入り

In Ogawamachi in Saitama Prefecture, one of the most famous Japanese paper production sites in Japan, I came across very old sheets of paper made with 100% local kozo. As regards Japanese paper, it is often said "The older, the better." With these old pieces, I made 2 books, "In Silence and In Sorrow," one in Japanese and the other in English. The size is about 10 cm x 11 cm. I also made a folding case with 2 boxes attached inside, whose sizes are slightly different, so that they fit well when the case is closed. The outside cloth is silk made in Kyoto and the inside paper is Japanese hand-screened paper dyed with persimmon. Unique edition. Private collection.

かれてから長い年月がたった地楮100%の細川紙が手に入ったので「しんと悲しみが満ちる地へ(日本語版)」「In Silence and In Sorrow(英語版)」の2冊を綴じました。10cmx11cmくらいの手にやさしいサイズです。2冊がおさまる函(夫婦箱)も作りました。函の外貼りは掛け軸などに使われる裂地、内貼りは柿渋染の和紙です。個人蔵。

From Tree to Paper


This concertina book "From Tree To Paper" explains Japanese traditional paper-making process, starting from the very beginning of harvesting kozo (paper mulberry). The papers for the body, cover and case are all hand-screened and hand-dyed by my paper-making teacher, Chie Homma. I decorated the cover with the leaves of Tororo Aoi, sunset hibiscus, the root of which is used to extract sticky juice, an important material for paper-making. I planted seeds last year and extracted some seedlings for thinning but as they were so cute, I pressed to dry. The twigs are the leftover parts of kozo, which I put aside when I helped my teacher harvest last winter. When I find places to use such small remaining things in my work, I feel a bit happy. Exhibited at the 2023 annual conference of North American Hand Papermakers. Collection of the artist.

「木から紙ができるまで」を追った蛇腹本を作りました。物語は楮を刈り取るところから始まります。紙は表紙、本文紙、ケースとも、紙漉きの師匠である本間千絵さんの手漉きです。表紙とケース裏に貼った葉っぱは、プランターに植えたトロロアオイを間引きした時に間引かれちゃったコたちです。かわいかったので、そのまま押葉にしていました。枝は刈り取りを手伝わせてもらった楮の残り。なにげに取っておいたものが使えると地味にうれしい。North American Hand Papermakers の2023年次総会展示作品。作家蔵。

Mementos of Happiness

This photobook "Mementos of Happiness" contains all the 28 images together with captions as exhibited in my show. Based on a European bookmaking method, all parts are put together just with glue at the narrow back and the rest is finished just by folding.  The merit of this method is that you can open pages fully. For the cover and main body, I used Japanese paper (machine-screened) from Echizen, another mecca of Japanese paper production in the north. The cover is an inkjet print of the last image of the series. About 172mm x 154mm x 12mm. Limited edition of 5. 5,500 yen. All sold out. 

「記憶の方舟」をフランス装で作りました。写真展で展示した全28点がキャプションも合わせてそのまま入っています。背中を糊で留めているだけなので、ページを完全に開くことができます。本文紙、表紙は機械漉きの越前和紙。表紙はシリーズの最後の1点をインクジェットプリントしてくるみました。サイズは 172mm x 154mm x 12mmです。5部限定。価格5,500円。販売は終了しています。

Mementos of Happiness
Original Print Collection Book

When an exhibition "Mementos of Happiness" is held, I exhibit my photographs printed on washi (Japanese traditional hand-screened paper) without frames.  Instead I use washi of my own hand-screening for mats. This is an original print collection book by binding the exhibits altogether. I also made a case called "chitsu."  I used Aizu Momen, traditional cotton from Aizu, Fukushima, for book cover and Kireji, traditional woven fabric typically used for Japanese hanging scrolls called "kakejiku." The inside paper is washi dyed with persimmon tannin. The size is about 460 mm x 340 mm x 27 mm.  When I exhibit again, it is easy to unbind, for this binding method is done just by thread and needs no glue. Exhibited at the 2023 annual conference of North American Hand Papermakers. Collection of the artist.

「記憶の方舟」のオリジナルプリントをそのまま四つ目綴じして本にしました。本の表紙は深い黒の会津木綿、帙(ちつ)と呼ばれるケースの表貼り布は掛け軸などに使われる裂地(きれじ)、内貼り紙は柿渋染和紙です。大きさは460 mm x 340 mm x 27 mm。また展示するときは糸をほどいてばらします。糊を使わない綴じの良いところです。North American Hand Papermakers の2023年次総会展示作品。作家蔵。

Mementos of Happiness

For the series "Mementos of Happiness," I designed 3 different types of miniature photo books: string-binding, accordion and scroll. Each contains 17 images from the series and my text in English and Japanese. 

String-binding type: All made of Japanese traditional paper (washi). For the main body, I used very thin Echizen washi. For the cover, I used test pieces for my exhibition works printed on hand-screened Kamikawasaki washi. For the case, I turned the test pieces inside out and showed the back side of the paper. I also wrote the title with a brush in a calligraphy style and added my name stamp. I left the rough edges naturally as they were.

Accordion type: All made of Japanese traditional paper (washi). For the covering, I used test pieces for my exhibition prints using kamikawasaki washi (traditional hand-screened paper from Fukushima), which are too precious to throw away! 

Scroll type:  I used very thin Japanese traditional paper (washi) for the body and added at the beginning of the body a piece of Japanese paper hand-screened with natural fallen leaves.  The core is a small stick of bamboo.

Documenting Tokyo in the Summer 2021 / 記録 東京 2021 夏 

In the summer of 2021, Tokyo is filled with strange atmosphere. Amid the continuing surge of COVID-19 cases, the government decided to hold the Olympics, although more than 80% of Japanese people opposed. After making that decision, the government declared the 4th COVID-19 State of Emergency. This measure, however, did little to get people to share a sense of urgency. No wonder. In the first place, Japanese "State of Emergency" is far from a stringent lockdown. The government just requests people to voluntarily stay home. Offices, shops, theaters, museums, nursing homes, restaurants and cafes are open, while they limit the number of customers, shorten business hours and take other measures by themselves. People were already tired of the government's repeated issuance of declaration. In addition to this, the government decision to hold the Olympics caused further fear, anger, frustration and disbelief. There were many who were really concerned about further spread of infection. There were many who had to go to work to keep living. There were also many who thought "The Olympics are held, then why can't we go out? At least, just in the neighborhood, in the open air, with a few good friends?" People's minds were and still are divided.  As a photographer living in the middle of the capital, I started to document Tokyo on July 12, when the 4th state of emergency declaration was issued, and continued until August 8, when the Olympics ended. 2 volumes containing 32 images. Inkjet print on Echizen Japanese paper. Limited edition of 30. Sold out.  


In Silence and In Sorrow

I created this accordion-type version "In Silence and In Sorrow" in commemoration of the exhibitions held in 2019 in Emon Photo Gallery in Tokyo and Kyotographie KG+ in Kyoto. It contains all the 14 images from “In Silence and In Sorrow” and text in English and Japanese.  As for materials, I used only washi (Japanese traditional paper) and finished edges also by hand. To show the edges, I shifted pages little by little. For the covers, I used persimmon-dyed washi and placed natural dried leaves from Fukushima. Size 165 mm x 165 mm. Priced at 6000 yen. Limited edition of 10. Sold out. Thank you for your interest!

I also made an original collection book. It contains all the 14 images from my series “In Silence and In Sorrow.”  The prints are all original gelatin silver, printed on Kamikawasaki-washi, traditional hand-screened paper from Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, which I use for the exhibition prints. The image size is about 18 cm x 22.5 cm, which is about half the exhibition print size. For the cover, I hand-screened paper together with natural dried leaves from Fukushima.  

In Silence and In Sorrow 


This photobook was made in commemoration of the exhibition at fotofever in Paris in 2015. The string-binding method is called "four-hole binding." It contains all the 14 photographs of the series "In Silence and In Sorrow," inkjet-printed on very thin Japanese traditional Echizen Washi paper from Fukui Prefecture.


The front and back covers are parts cut out of my original gelatin silver prints on hand-screened Kamikawasaki Washi paper from Nihomnatsu, Fukushima Prefecture. (Any photographer knows that there are always some odd prints which are not included in the final selection. As hand-screened Kamikawasaki Washi is so precious and even if they are odd prints, they are still interesting, so I decided to use them here…)


The dust jacket with the title is for protection. The size is 19 cm x 14 cm x 0.5 cm.  


Price: 30 euros / 33 dollars / 4,000 yen


Limited editions of 20.  Sold out.  Thank you for your interest. 

In Silence and In Sorrow
Original Print Collection Book

This original print collection book contains all the 14 images from my series “In Silence and In Sorrow.”  The prints are all original gelatin silver, printed on Kamikawasaki-washi, traditional hand-screened paper from Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, which I use for the exhibition prints. The image size is about 18 cm x 22.5 cm, which is about half the exhibition print size. Mounting paper is also kamikawasaki-washi. For cover and case, I used washi from a different region dyed and hand-screened with natural leaves.


External size is about 25 cm x 33 cm x 2.5 cm.

Limited edition of 3. Sold out. Thank you for your interest.

Lost in Fukushima 


I made my first photobook "Lost in Fukushima" with an old Japanese handmade bookbinding technique. For cover and case (called "Chitsu" in Japanese), I used Aizu Momen, traditional cotton from Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture, which has a history of over 400 years.


Japanese bookbinding has a history of over 1000 years. As is often the case with traditional art and craft skills, the number of old-style book binders has been drastically decreasing. It was a great pleasure for me to have a chance to learn some skills directly from a master last year.


This photobook contains 32 photographs, printed on museum-quality paper. External size about 14 cm x 19 cm x 3 cm. Price: 25,000 yen (tax excluded). Sold out. Thank you for your interest. 

If you are interested in how I make this book, I am sure that the following video will be interesting! (Camera, directed and edited by Yoshimasa Ono)

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