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This content is taken from the Keio University's online course, 古書から読み解く日本の文化: 和本の世界. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Next, I would like to briefly explain the proper way to handle a traditional book. The correct way is to place it on a flat surface, such as a desk, and look at it rather than holding it in your hands. In Edo times, it was common to use slanted reading desks (called shokendai), but generally speaking the proper way of looking at a book is to lay it flat. As you can see, I am touching the book with bare hands. Some of you might think that I should be wearing gloves but there is a good reason for not using gloves. Wearing gloves makes turning the pages difficult.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second It is fine when the paper is thick as it is in this book, but close to impossible with very thin paper like the one used in this one. As you struggle to turn the pages you tend to apply more strength, which greatly increases the likelihood of tearing a page. From a researcher’s point of view, turning pages with bare fingers also allows the specialist to get valuable information about the item, such as the type and thickness of the paper used.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 seconds The downside is, of course, is that the items can get dirty, so in order to keep the soiling to a minimum, researchers always wash their hands with soap before handling an item and repeat the process if they sweat during the session. It is also desirable to remove all items that could potentially damage the books (wrist watches, bracelets, etc.) and to keep one’s fingernails clean and short. Oil from dirty hands can lead to the formation of mold on which insects feed. So please be careful when you handle old books.

Skip to 2 minutes and 56 seconds And let me also add that today we are looking at the books from your point of view, so the reverse of how I would be looking at them if I were on my own.


図書館の貴重書をご紹介する前に、これらの取扱方について学んでいきましょう。佐々木教授がビデオで正しい扱い方とその理由について説明します。 皆さんはどのように思われますか? Comments エリアにある他の学習者の意見を読み、ご自身の意見も書き込んでみましょう。


すべての動画には、英語と日本語の字幕が用意されています。 字幕を有効にするには、動画プレーヤーの吹き出しアイコンにカーソルを合わせ、「英語」または「日本語」を選択します。 ここでは「字幕オフ」を選択して無効にすることもできます。

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字幕のサイズは、Webブラウザのフォントサイズを変えることで変更できます。 また、各週最初のStep内「DOWNLOADS」セクションでは、全てのStepの字幕を含んだPDF版をダウンロードすることが出来ます。

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This video is from the free online course:

古書から読み解く日本の文化: 和本の世界

Keio University