At first there were only images and silent whispers. They later turned into the urge for words. An urge to tell something beyond what has already been said. At the present we are staring a ghost in the face, not really shure how to react or what to say. But there's a strong sense of being grateful for the experience and the opportunity to express. As the last and feverishly hectic months of producing this book will commence short upon our homecoming, I am sure we'll see more colors in the scales of the dragon.
"kokoro" will not be a lot of things.
That we know.
It will not be a biography in the traditional sense of the word. Neither a book of tattoos solely. We have felt that there is more to this than the visulaity of it all, and we're trying to find out what that "more" is.
Of course the book will contain lots of images of Irezumi, along with all the other things that we have picked up on the way, but in order for the traditional Japanese tattoo to come into existence, there has to be "Kokoro", the soul, the heart of things. Maybe Horiyoshi III can tell us what that is. And show us.
While waiting for the release of this book, please explore Horiyoshi III's work in our newly released book "Ryushin". A work that hopefully has pointed out the direction in which we are heading.
(photograph of Horiyoshi III's Irezumi work by Matti Sedholm, Yokohama, Japan 2009)