A mere seven days remains until our Horiyoshi III dragon book "Ryushin" can finally meet its public. Being the first effort of two persons that one day decided to make the books they themselves wanted to buy, it's a nervewrecking week of awaiting response and reactions.
The past six months have been inspirational but rough. Where do you begin when you have never made a book before? And how the hell is it done? The answers were definetely fewer than the questions. So many things to suddenly learn –typography, book editing software, delivering for print, paper qualities, bookbinding options, promotion, transportation, storing.....
It seemed endless in the beginning. I am sure that the professional in any of the aforementioned fields will find faults in our productions, but we decided at an early stage to try to keep all the necessary required parts of the process in-house. When making books on subjects that are close to the heart for us, it seemed unatural to leave it to somebody else to interpret our intentions. Maybe that comes from the years of dilligent struggle to interpret Irezumi and it's related cultural phenomena? At least I like to think so.
The approach to making the Kofuu-Senju books is to treat each book as a separate work of art. I myself has always been passionately interested in finding the alternatives that fit into my own way of relating to the world around me. In a sense this is the same credo that sustains Horiyoshi III's constant development artistically, called Shuhari in japanese. Basically this means that you first learn the tradition, then tear it down in order to create something beyond the former.
So what is a book really? In its fundamental sense , it's a set number of pages with some content within the borders of the front and the back of the covers. I even would like to go so far as to say that the pages within could even be blank! The rule being no-rule, meaning that the image of a book is, as anything else purely subjective to the its creator. Kofuu-Senju Publications have made this their starting point in book creating and designing.
With "Ryushin" soon fresh from the printers, and "Kokoro" well underway in design, we are now looking forward to future projects. In order to present to you some kind of an release-schedule, we've figured it out like this:
24th of September 2010: "Ryushin"
Around the turn of the year 2010/2011: "Kokoro"
Early autumn 2010: "Ryushin II" and "Nakamura's
Sometime during 2011: Another book about a Japanese
Irezumi artist. Plans are laid but
not finalized. The name will be
released at a later date.
Of course, Since the only rule is No-rule, our creative minds will probaly find more things of interest to create books around during this period, so make sure you return to this blog to get the information as it unfolds.
For those unable to attend the London Tattoo Convention next weekend there's always the possibility to reserve a copy of "Ryushin" beforehand. Just click here.
(Photograph of recent horiyoshi III Irezumi work was created by Alex Reinke in Yokohama, Japan April 2010.)