The skillful technique of Japanese proofreaders ; “patapata” 〜Reveal mistakes〜

The skillful technique of Japanese proofreaders ; “patapata” 〜Reveal mistakes〜


This time, I introduce the craftsmanship used in the Japanese publishing and printing industry.
Even if you say so, this article may be the first and last. lol

First of all, please watch the following videos.

This work is the technique that any proofreader in the Japanese publishing and printing industry knows.

They stack two sheets of paper, and reveal mistakes by flipping one piece of paper quickly. This series of actions is the skillful technique that utilizes the afterimage effect of the human eye.

When they do this work, You can hear the sound of the paper turning over; “patapata”.
Hence, this work is simply called "patapata".

Recently we can do the same with PDF diff checks, but it is still one of the indispensable tasks for proofreading.

1.“Patapata” reveal mistakes.

Usually, I will look for mistakes by comparing the left and right pictures alternately, when you look for mistakes.


On the other hand, in the method; “patapata”, the two pictures are superimposed to search for mistakes.

The following image reveals the mistakes.

The answer - 5 places

2.How to do “patapata”

Using the looking for the following mistake, we will explain the actual way.


There are only three points this time.

1. Letʼs set a reference point.

The red circle is the reference when stacking two sheets of paper.
In particular, there is no fixed location, but it is easier for you to use the upper left or upper right as the reference point.

2. Let's divide it into sections.

There is no problem with 4 divisions, 6 divisions, and 8 divisions.

3. Look at the object from a bird's-eye view.

Like the actual proofreading work, “patapata” does not look at the details one by one.
Letʼs look at the object from a slightly bird's-eye view. Doing so makes it easier to notice mistakes.


  1. You stack two sheets of paper based on the reference point.
  2. You hold down firmly by hand to prevent the paper from slipping.
  3. Letʼs flip the paper on top quickly.
  4. Letʼs look at the paper evenly while changing the movement of your hands.

※1.2 speed

Let's take a partial look.

1. The number of clouds and the color of the wings of the windmill are different.

2. Comparing the two pictures, the presence or absence of sheep horns and the direction in which the rabbit is facing are different.

When working on the lower part, it is easy to do “patapata” by changing the holding position.

3. It may be hard to notice in the video, but the direction the bird is facing is the opposite.

The following image reveals the mistakes.

The answer - 5 places

This work is one of the established techniques of proofreaders involved in Japanʼs paper medium.
It is simple, but effective way to find the mistakes.

If you have never done this way, please try once by all means.

See you someday.