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Handbound books

Book Arts and Crafts Association

Organization that endorses the cultural value of book.


The weight when we hold it, the smell when we sniff it, the perception from printed words. “The book” speaks to our hearts, pervading into all our senses.

Books…are the oldest media in human civilization. Let us assume that the origin of books as media dates back to the invention of Gutenberg’s printer and movable type in the mid-fifteenth century. Although there had been already Bible books in Church before, written and copied by monks, those bibles were not entirely for the general public, and the access to them was restricted to a few number of people such as clergy who were member of Church, and were lucky enough to attain the literacy education. Hence, we humankind have over five hundred years of history with books, whereas the next media radio broadcasting emerged roughly about one hundred years ago.

This evolution of the mass production of printed media enriched our society in many ways. Less than a hundred years after Gutenberg’s invention, Martin Luther wrote the Ninety-Five Theses, being copied by print and then distributed, which led to the Protestant Reformation. In 1776, Thomas Paine—who emigrated from England to America in 1774—wrote Common Sense, the most widely read pamphlet of the American Revolution. In short, books are so influential that they develop our ability to discourse what is the best for our society, collect our aggregate decision, and give us courage to act on it.

Then, the emergence of the Internet cause the vast amount of information to relentlessly flow into our digital devices, and ubiquitously entertain us whenever we demand it. It is worth noting that our association is not anti-digital media. However, we need to admit we spend more time for consuming information on digital devices than on paper or in person. Over the past few decades, information has switched its dominant role from education and report to entertainment.

Consequently, companies in the book binding and publishing industries are diminishing. Some of them have already closed their businesses. Even the companies that are still in business are forced to cut their budgets that they can spend for the publication of one book. Ironically, as the technology advances, the quality of books declines, because publishers can afford less time and money.

Book Arts and Crafts Association is an organization with two goals: the cultivation of the fertile foundation of book-craft industry in which people who love books can meet and make a new connection, and the education for the next generation of people who will inherit, preserve and further foster the culture and social value of books.

What we do

Give opportunities to experience craft work, and kindle the inclination towards books.

Hand Bookbinding Scool

Support for
Honzukuri School

The “Honzukuri” School (meaning book crafting in Japanese) is a place for everyone who loves books to learn the knowledge, essence, history, and culture of book crafting. Beginning with a basic craft working skill, the school teaches the various ways of binding books, and students design and make their own books as a final assignment.

Currently, the book bindery Misuzudo runs the school and we provide supports to them.


Workshops on
Book Crafting

Not only providing the support for the Honzukuri School, we also organize workshops to give more people an opportunity to learn book crafting.

The content of workshops varies from a 30-minute session of binding a tiny notebook that even children can enjoy, to a 3-hour workshop of making a hard cover book covering all processes of book binding.

Publication as

As an archive of our knowledge in book crafting, we dedicate ourselves to publishing new books with our members. Our first book Beautiful Hand Bookcrafting with Misuzudo was published in 2016.

Events and

We hold a variety of events such as seminars on publishing and book crafting, talk shows, and visits to museums in collaborations with book stores and cafes.


The book bindery Misuzudo takes the initiative of the association, and participates in preserving the skill of hand bookbinding.

The name Misuzudo derives from the town called Misuzu in Nagano prefecture located in the center of Japan’s main island, wherein the Japanese Alps sets its home, with the do for studio in English. The bindery was founded by Matsuo Kamijima in 1983. Mr. Kamijima was born in 1939, right before the World War II began, and started his career at the age of fifteen. Since then, he has been working as a bookbinder for over six decades, in step with the vibrant growth of his native country.

The characteristic of Misuzudo is that they bind books by hand, and probably it is the only bindery which undertakes hand bookbinding for mass production in Japan. For better or worse, the process of book binding, or crafting in the broader perspective, is now mostly being replaced with machines. As a result, the population of book binding artisans is diminishing to the brink of extinction, and so are their skills and techniques.

Misuzudo sensed the urgency on this issue, and decided to establish the community in which people who are interested in or love books can gather and have access to the lecture of book crafting, and those who have already in the book industry are able to meet new people and exchange their knowledge and information.