If you’ve ever lamented that a treasured a book was falling apart, then you’ll enjoy seeing how this Japanese craftsman masterfully restored a tattered 1,000-page dictionary to near mint condition. An episode of the Japanese show called Shuri, Bakaseru (translation: The Fascinating Craftsman) featured Nobuo Okano, an artisan who specializes in old books. During the 10-minute-long segment, he demonstrates how the well-loved English-Japanese dictionary was brought back to life. It has had quite a history and served the owner from his junior high years through his adult life. Now that his daughter is entering college, he wants to pass the book along to her.
Okano starts the restoration by cleaning all of the old glue from the book’s spine and repairing pages of maps included in it. Although they can’t be returned to a pristine condition, they’re glued to paper and now have a solid base. Afterwards comes the most tedious part of the entire process. Okano unfolds hundreds of bent page corners with a tweezer, individually ironing each of them flat. Once that’s done, the book is looking much better, but there’s still more to do. The tips of the pages are stained with purple ink, and so Okano uses a guillotine book cutter to trim those unsightly edges.
Constructing a new cover is the last step, and Okano embellished it with the salvaged title piece of the original book. The end of the episode shows the happy and grateful customer giving the dictionary to his daughter. Watch the video below to see just how Okano completed this incredible restore.