detchousou 粘葉装
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. pasted paper leaf book. Also called *kochousou 胡蝶装, as it is called in China, although this word is sometimes applied to another type of book-binding *retchousou 列帖装. A type of book-binding made with paper and paste. First, each sheet of paper is folded in half, right-side in. The papers are then stacked so that the folded edges form a spine. Then, paste is applied between the back-sides of the folded papers in a narrow strip along the spine. The finished book opens so that each pair of leaves, joined by paste, stand out at an angle, like the wings of a butterfly, thus it is also called a butterfly book kochou 胡蝶. The cover *hyoushi 表紙 can be attached in two different ways:
1) the spine is wrapped with paper or cloth and then two covers are attached to the first and last pages; 2) one large sheet covers both the first and last pages and is pasted to the spine tsutsumi byoushi 包み表紙. Depending on the thickness of the paper used, text can appear either on both sides of each sheet or only one side. In the latter case, two blank sheets follow each two pages of text. Originating in China and very popular during the Song dynasty, the detchousou arrived in Japan during the Heian period. Because it was the first "book-shaped" format and easy to bind, it was very popular. Examples of Japanese text dating from the 9c to the 17c exist, including Buddhist scriptures, copies of the Chinese classics and volumes of poetry. The oldest extant example is the Sanjuujousasshi 三十帖策子 (Ninnaji 仁和寺, Kyoto), which was brought back from Tang China by *Kuukai 空海 (774-835; see *Koubou Daishi 弘法大師) in 806. Because this type of pasted binding was susceptible to insect damage, thread-sewn books began to be used, eventually overtaking the detchousou in popularity .


(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. No reproduction or republication without written permission.