印刷とか紙とか、本に関連するものなら、私はそのすべてに興味を持っています。日本は伝統から現代まで工芸文化を重視し、装丁や製紙などの歴史も長いです。私のようにブックアートに関心ある人々にとっては、日本はインスピレイションを与える国です。

今回東京に行ったとき、印刷博物館(文京区)や折形デザイン研究所(青山)を訪れました。印刷博物館は、版画、活版やオフセット印刷など、印刷の豊かな世界を紹介しています。体験できる「印刷の家」という工房もあります。折形デザイン研究所は、ホームページによると、礼法である「折形」の秩序ある美しさをモダンデザインとして捉えなおし、今に活かせる「折形」を探求する研究所です。

どちらでも、あまり注目されていない日本文化に触れることができます。

残念ながら、紙の博物館にはまだ行っていません。それは次回で!

Book arts is an expansive field, and practitioners of book arts, likewise, are attracted to more than just the book form. We rhapsodize over the qualities of paper and ardently admire well-executed printing of all sorts. And Japan is the perfect place for doing all these things! How many countries can boast both a Paper Museum and a Printing Museum right within its capital?

I have yet to visit the Paper Museum, but I did make it to the Printing Museum during my trip to Tokyo last month. It’s one of my favorite museums in the world! It’s one of the few places that showcases the development of printing on both sides of the Pacific, and there are lots of interactive exhibits that allow you to better understand the various printing processes. There is even a printing studio complete with movable type, printing presses, and experts to give you a how-to. What more could you ask of a printing museum?

And I finally made it to the Origata Design Institute. Tucked away on a corner of a residential block in Aoyama, you could easily walk right pass without giving it a second glance. Those lucky enough to enter its doors are in for a real treat though!

Origata Design Institute is revitalizing the tradition of paper wrapping through modern design. Wrapping has always been an art form in Japan, and Origata is taking it to new levels. Here are some photos of the shop and their offerings of envelopes, boxes, and more.

 

Of course I could not resist making a purchase. And I was delighted by how my purchase was wrapped up! So much, in fact, that I have yet to open it. The translucent paper still allows for a tantalizing glimpse of the items within, and for now, that is enough.

If you are in Tokyo, Origata Design Institute does offer classes. And if you can’t make it there, check out the books that they have published.