The Orihon: This is the structure that I am going to show, and some history about it.
The orihon structure was developed during the Heian period (794–1185), and was traditionally used for Buddhist sutras. It is thought that if an orihon book inscribed with Buddhist sutras is 'cascaded' from hand-to-hand, the draught created by the falling pages has healing properties if directed to the affected part of the sufferer's body. In Japanese Buddhist monasteries it is still sometimes possible to receive this treatment.
The orihon structure developed out of the scroll simply by folding the scroll into an accordion-fold and pasting it between covers. In this form it was both easier to access and to store and, although not yet truly a 'book-shaped' book this was the vital step in its development. Structure The basic orihon book consists simply of an accordion-folded sheet of paper bound within soft or hard covers. The paper can be a single long strip, or several smaller strips pasted together. Traditionally, smaller sheets would be pasted into a long strip with little regard paid to where the joins fell; as the style developed, however, the joins were usually planned to fall at the page folds.
If the flaps all fall at the same (usually fore-) edge, the book will have greater thickness one side than the other; for this reason if there are to be a great number of joins they are sometimes placed at the back- and fore-edges alternately, even though the back-edge joins are more visible than the fore-edge joins. If an even number of pages is used, the book will have a definite 'front' and 'back'; if an odd number of pages is used, the concepts of 'frontness' and 'backness' may be more equivocal – either doubling the capacity of the book, or enabling a double book not dissimilar to the Western dos-à-dos structure.
There may be no endpapers; the main pages may be attached to the covers by means of a narrow tab which is overlaid with a single sheet of decorative paper; or an extra page-pair of a decorative paper may be used.
A common use in the West is in children's books; room friezes are often packaged orihon-fashion, and some board books are constructed in orihon form, occasionally with integral covers (see Children's Board Book, right). The form is also frequently used in advertising leaflets which, although consisting of no more than a single sheet of folded paper, might properly be considered orihon books (seeAdvertising Leaflet, right).
The book artist may find the orihon indispensable for two or three of its characteristics:
• while it is possible to read each page or pair of pages individually, it is also possible to view all the pages at once, or in non-contiguous groups.
This is a very useful attribute in the case of panoramic pictures, time-line diagrams, and some records of performance and conceptual art, for example, Horizon to Horizon and Alps Horizon by Hamish Fulton; the all-at-one-view property is exploited in various books by Sarah Jackson. In England orihon-form maps, showing the route between only two towns – stylised but showing landmarks and road junctions – were known as 'stagecoach maps'. (See The Northern Line, flat, right,for a modern equivalent of the stagecoach map by the author.)
• because of their compound action, orihon books can be very useful as scrapbooks. Guarding of the pages is unnecessary – however thick the scraps in the book, so long as they are not too close to the folds, the book will simply expand uniformly (see Scrapbook, right).
• Sometimes the orihon is used for no apparent reason other than that it is attractive and unusual. Perhaps it is for no deeper reason than this that it is used for such books as Tony Hayward's Indian Sandwich series, 1994, right.
• When opened, the orihon book can assume a very sculptural form (see The Northern Line, fanned, right).