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古書から読み解く日本の文化: 和本を彩る和紙の世界


古書から読み解く日本の文化: 和本を彩る和紙の世界

  • 3 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

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The English version of this course is available.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds Books tell us a lot about a country’s culture. This is because books preserve not only words and pictures, but we can also use them to learn about the technologies and traditions of the country at the time the books were produced, as well as the tastes and sensibilities of the past. Hello, I am Takahiro Sasaki. I research Japanese rare books at Keio University’s Institute of Oriental Classics. You can find a considerable variety in Japanese rare books, in the design, bindings, shape, size, and color of the covers. Such variety is quite unique to Japanese books. One of the major factors that made this diversity possible is, obviously, “paper”, the main material used in books and the main topic of this course.

Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds Just as there are many kinds of books, there are many different types of washi – traditional Japanese paper. They are different in color, texture, strength and durability depending on the materials used, production and processing methods. Why did Japanese people produce such a variety of paper and how did they choose paper for books? Learning about the paper used in rare books will give you a deeper understanding of Japanese culture. In this course, you will learn about the paper used in old Japanese books from both a scientific and cultural perspective. We will study the definition and history of Japanese paper along with its manufacturing methods and materials as well as how to distinguish the different types of washi.

Skip to 2 minutes and 25 seconds Then, you will learn about Japanese papermaking techniques, focusing on the processing of the beautiful decorative papers used in books, and discuss why and when people used such decorative papers. You’ll find so many beautiful Japanese rare books in our library; some books are gorgeous with beautiful covers. You’ll come to understand that paper plays an important role in the beauty of rare books. I am sure you’ll enjoy this course and discover interesting aspects of Japanese book culture. What’s more, you will be able to enhance your knowledge of Japanese culture and art in general. Why not join us in learning about the fascinating world of washi?

What topics will you cover?


  • 和紙の分類
  • 和紙の製法
  • 和紙の材料
  • 和紙と製紙の歴史
  • 日常に利用される和紙


  • 伝統的な和本の装訂
  • 古書の修復
  • 和紙を利用した様々な修復
  • 紙の観察


  • 和紙の染色
  • 和紙の装飾のための漉きによる加工
  • 鉱物系の素材や布による和紙の装飾
  • 空押し、下絵など、中国・朝鮮伝来の装飾

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Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • 伝統的な書物に施されている様々な和紙の装飾方法を理解する:色、鉱物、布の利用、漉き方など。
  • 和紙を、その製法、材料、地域、目的などによって分類することができるようになる。
  • 和紙を調査し、製法や素材を見分けることできる。
  • 新しい和紙の利用について考えることができる。
  • 伝統的な和本の製本、修復の方法がわかる。
  • 和紙を使った様々な修復について考えることができる。
  • 和紙の定義と歴史を説明できる。
  • 和紙の伝統的な製法と主要な2種類の漉き方を説明できる。

Who is the course for?

このコースは、日本の古書や紙全般に興味をお持ちの幅広い学習者を対象としていますすが、特に、図書館員、書店の専門家、研究者、デザイナー、また、書物の修復に興味のある方などにとっては、非常に有益な情報を多く含む内容となっています。 なお、このコースでは、画像、映像など視覚的な資料を多くの利用しているため、残念ながら、視覚障害のある学習者がコンテンツの一部にアクセスできない可能性がありますことをご了承ください。 ビデオは日本語で、日英の字幕付きで提供されます。


Who will you learn with?

I'm a Professor at Keio University's Institute of Oriental Classics. I'm the lead educator of the courses "Japanese Culture Through Rare Books" and "The Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books".

I am a lecturer at Gakushuin Women's College and a member of the Society for the Study of Washi Culture. I'm one of the educators of the "The Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books" course.

Who developed the course?

Keio University

Keio University is Japan’s first modern institution of higher learning, and since 1858 has established itself as a leader in Japan through its continued commitment to education, research and medicine.

  • Established

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • World ranking

    Top 200Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

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  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

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Buy this course

$89/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 11 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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