Nobuyoshi Kikuchi is a man contentedly out of step with the times. Forgoing modern technology, the 77-year-old master book designer (soutei-ka) has utilized the traditional tools of scissors, rulers, and pencils to design over 15,000 extraordinary book covers by hand throughout his decades-long career. With careful, philosophical consideration of every aspect of the process, Kikuchi also chooses the paper and ink to best represent the essence of each book. Filmed over three years, this passion project from Hirokazu Kore-eda protege Nanako Hirose (whose late father was also a book designer) matches Kikuchi’s contemplative and considerate approach to his craft, offering a thoroughly measured portrait of the pursuit of perfection and 94 minutes of ASMR for design enthusiasts and bibliophiles.
Available streaming territory: U.S. only
in Japanese with English subtitles