Samurai: Design Your Own Symbol
The imagery on a samurai’s armor expresses that samurai’s identity and source of inspiration or empowerment. Is there an image you connect with most?
Activity: Make your own orihon to use as a journal. What stories might you record in it?
Many Japanese travelers in the Edo period kept diaries of their adventures on the road, and some of these became best-selling books that in turn inspired other would-be travelers. Matsuo Basho’s “Narrow Road to the Deep North” is the best known of these. Some books in Basho’s time were published in the orihon, or accordion book, form.
The orihon was especially convenient for travelers because it folded so compactly and was easier to read than a scroll. To see an Edo period orihon up close, check out this beautiful example at the Keio Institute of Oriental Classics in Tokyo. In the following activity, you will make your own orihon to use as a journal. What stories might you record in it?
Visuals of the procedure can be found in the PDF download or the image gallery above.
Share a picture of your orihon on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #AAMOrihon. Happy journaling!