Japanese Craftsman Brings Old Books Back to Life by Making Them Look Brand New




This Tokyo-based Japanese craftsman brings old books back to life by making them look brand new through his amazing technique obtained after more than 3 decades of experience in his shop from the Suidobashi area of Japan’s capital.

Okano, the old Japanese craftsman, can reverse almost any deterioration process that a book has witnessed, bringing back the joy of reading old novels and stories to anyone that drops by his repair shop.

This restored old book is a Japanese-English dictionary received by Okano from an old customer that used it throughout his university years and had no use for it anymore. Since Okano’s daughter is going to college, the old Japanese “book repairman” wants to offer her the gift of a lifetime. The gift of knowledge.



Watching Okano restore old books is a true delight, because we always feel that old things, like books, paintings and antiques have a certain “je ne sais quoi” (“I don’t know what”) thing about them that simply makes them priceless.

Okano took this book, an old Japanese-English dictionary…

…and turned it into this!


Okano started by taking off the deteriorated glue and other beaten-up parts of the book


Then he carefully glues the old pages on new sheets o paper that match the book cover size


This is how he protects the old pages by making them thicker with a new piece of paper


Then he straightens each page, one by one


Using tweezers, water and a specific iron, he can straighten up 1,000 pages in an hour


The pages start look better and better


Even the corners look brand new!


But how does Okano get the purple color of the pages?


He simply smoothly cuts off the edges of the page, without removing any words


Okano couldn’t save the entire original cover, so he made a brand new one with matching leather and kept the original title, making the book look almost as good as new, saving yet another one from the garbage can