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Printing pride on sheet of paper

Posted April. 23, 2022 07:22,   

Updated April. 23, 2022 07:22


Manabu Uramoto is an employee of the sales department at Toyozumi Printing in Japan. He is struggling again this time as he forwards belatedly arrived orders from his client to assistant manager Masayoshi Nozue in the printing department. A printing technique that was not in the original printing plan is ‘special color printing.’ Generally, colors used in printing are combinations of four colors namely claret, blue, black and yellow. Colors that cannot be presented this way are called special colors. Special colors are generated by printing technicians by manually combining powder of metals including gold and silver.

The author worked at a printing company for three years before writing this novel as a story of people who are not revealed in the process of book publishing. Those workers who persistently carry out their duty while taking pride in printing, which is considered an outdated industry, can be considered ‘ending credit’ of the publishing sector.

As the sales department brings in orders, the printing machine should run. However, assistant manager Nozue is sleepy about Uramoto’s unexpected request. Nozue also expresses discontent by saying that the client is making excessive demand even though the client could delay the date of delivery to book wholesalers a bit. He is suggesting that the schedule of delivery, which is five days prior to putting the book on sale, to wholesalers be delayed. The sales department already put off the date of delivery to wholesalers to one day before the start of the book’s sale. The reason is although the printing company already placed an order to a foreign supplier, because it was already running short of art sheet that is required for the book’s publishing, it takes time for the sheet to be shipped into Japan.

Bookmaking requires efforts by many different people. A book will not be completed just because the manuscript has been written and design work has been finished. A prototype print should be created with a digital compositor typesetter, and 46-size paper, larger than the size of the desk’s tabletop, should be fed to the feeder in a press printer. Even the same color of ink can be printed differently depending on temperature and humidity, requiring workers to pay keen attention when printing.

The author concludes the special short story contained in the last part of the book as below:

“Books cannot eradicate viruses. Books cannot treat transmissible diseases. However, there are certainly people who need books even during this unending crisis. That’s right. We are creating the necessity called ‘book.’

Seong-Taek Jeong neone@donga.com