Toyoaki KOMORI : KYODAI-SHA Book Factory
“Bring together precious memories and create Japanese-style books that will last a lifetime.”
Toyoaki KOMORI grew up in Morishita, a neighborhood of printing factories. Kyodai Inc., the book-binding company that his father and uncle started, was his playground, and he showed a natural interest in making things. He always wondered if he'd take over from them one day. As a student, he showed promise in American Football, and after graduating, worked for a Web sales planning company. However, when his father fell ill 10 years ago, he entered the family business.
There are many workers involved in printing and book-binding in Fukugawa (Kito city), with over 1000 at one point. But with the movements of time, the number of factories has been decreasing gradually. KOMORI found himself in the middle of a tough price war, which lead him to consider how his company could add value. He published the company's specialties online, including small leaflet-folding. Inquiries gradually increased, and he noticed a definite response.
Wondering how to create work directly connected with customers, he began to attend a book-binding school. Kyodai does book-binding, but not printing. As such, wanting to create something where even plain paper would be useful, Komori decided to try producing Goshuincho - a kind of notebook used for collecting stamps from temples. Studying under experts in Japanese book-binding, working through nights and holidays, he began to produce Goshuincho. "Now I've tried making them, how do I sell them?" he wondered. He began by leaving them out on a shelf in front of the factory. People began to notice, buying the Goshuincho, and as word traveled, they gradually gained popularity.
"I've had a child, so I'd like to give them a note which'll last until they're grown up."
"I like sake, so I want to bring together all the most famous brands' labels."
"I'd like to make a book of family memories out of kimono sleeves."
With the often unexpected requests from people who have recently come by the factory, Japanese books of all kinds have been produced - from Goshuincho to sake journals.
New possibilities from opening a factory in the city. A desire to bring together precious memories and create Japanese-style books that will last a lifetime. This book-binder's newest challenge is just beginning.
ADDRESS：2-1-2 Tokiwa, Koto, Tokyo, Japan
OPEN: Weekday 8:00am-6:00pm Saturday 9:00am-3:00pm *closed on Sunday
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