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      折本 Oribon



      What is Oribon?

      Oribon is a form of book that originally evolved from a scroll, in which a long piece of paper was wrapped around a stick that served as a pivot. A scroll is an excellent form of book that can be stored compactly without folding the long paper. However, it was a bit difficult to handle, as it had to be rewound after reading a book, and it was not possible to open the book right away to look at the middle part of the book, even if one wanted to.

      The Birth of the Folded Book

      Therefore, the scroll was remodeled by removing the shaft of the scroll and folding a long piece of paper into a bellows shape for easier handling. A cover was added to the front and back of the folded paper to make it stronger, and the form of the folded book became widespread.

      The Folded Book

      Gradually, more and more publications were produced from the beginning in the form of folded books. The folded book form was also suitable for maps that could be quickly pulled out and opened during a trip in a kimono. Other folded books included a sutra book used by monks to chant sutras, a copybook used in calligraphy, a calendar of events, and progress charts for ceremonies. Depending on the contents of the book, it was a very convenient form because it could be carried and opened frequently or left open for use.


       

      The spread of the folded book

      Later, plain folded books were also made. They were also popular as calligraphic books because they could be used for writing or drawing pictures, and were easily carried around with the book and used to show each other. It is also used as a red seal book, a record of signatures, and in recent years, as a stamp book.

      Examples of use of the folded book

      Thick, plain folded books were also used as "tekagami-cho", or scrapbooks, to which important letters and precious paper and cloth were pasted, as well as small pieces of paper and cloth. In addition to excellent old calligraphy, the Tekagamicho was an important historical document, with paper and cloth pasted onto it that are now unavailable.


       

      Various types of orihon

      As mentioned above, folded books have been made in various shapes depending on their contents and purpose. Some are large or small in size, some are vertical or horizontal in shape, and some have hard or soft covers. As for this paper, there are two types: one is made by simply folding long sheets of paper, and the other is made by stacking folded sheets of paper and gluing the folds together. There are also thicker and thinner papers. The basic structure of a folded book is a book with a cover attached to a folded, bellows-shaped sheet of paper.

      Lastly

      There are no rules on how to use or handle folded books, just like books and notebooks. Normally, you have to pinch the edges of the paper when you turn the page, but if you fold a book, you can insert your fingers between the "folds" and slowly turn the page. In this way, the area pinched by the finger is less likely to be folded or soiled.

       

      With the spread of booklets, folding books are becoming less and less common. However, the folded book is still in use today in a variety of settings because of its advantages, such as the ease of opening and the ability to read through several pages.