Monday, 24 January 2011

"Kokoro" Preview

All that now remains before the launching at the Milan Tattoo Convention of our latest book "Kokoro", a photo book on legendary irezumi master Horiyoshi III of Yokohama, is but a few weeks. There was considerable less posting here during the production and design of this project compared to when we were creating "Ryushin", but this was a whole other affair. So much energy went into the design, the selection and editing of photographs and writing. Time just flew by and we worked litterary around the clock the last three weeks before deadline.

As you read this, the printing of "Kokoro" is progressing according to our printers, Fälth & Hässler's, plan, flights and rooms for the Milan Tattoo Convention have all been booked and the finnishing touches to our new banners for the booth have been laid. Now it's just a long wait for those boxes full of boxes to arrive at the Kofuu-Senju office.

We have decided to reveal some of the contents of "Kokoro" here on this blog prior to the launching. The six pages above is accompanied by 194 others in the finnished work. It contains 260+ new photographs in a format similiar to "Ruyshin", but with a few subtle changes to better frame its contents. We chose a different paper and texture for the cover as well as another aproach to what's getting embossed or not on that very same. It was a matter of best bringing out the astounding sumi brushwork from the hand of our subject matter. He painted the callligraphy for the cover before our cameras last summer. It has since then become one of my favourites as far as zen calligraphy goes. You'll see.

Also we chose another paper for the body of the book in order to properly bring out the photgraphic work and give the images justice. We selected the photographs from a pile of about 2000, and it was probably the hardest part of the project. So many favourites had to be left out in order to create a good flow and just the right texture and feel.

This hardcover edition is strictly limited to 550 numbered copies, and to make sure you will be able to obtain a copy it is best to pre-order it. More info on how to go about doing this can be found here.

Hopefully we will see you in Milan 11-13 of february!

/Matti 'Senju' Sedholm Horimatsu

(Photographs by Alex Reinke & Matti Sedholm Japan 2009-2010)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Closer still

Our printer, Fälth & Hässler, called today with the great news that all photographs to be featured in our new book on Horiyoshi III, "Kokoro", are now processed and ready for printing. We have checked that all the pages are in their correct order in the final document. Tomorrow I will recieve the proofs for the photos, which have to be checked and okayed, and then sent back. All in all the realization of our efforts is approaching, an almost unreal sensation. Usually there is a void, an emptiness, in the production for us once the book is handed over to our very skilled printers. Come the days just before the Milan tattoo convention we will finally have the result in our hands. Perhaps the longest, most anxious awaiting we have been subjected to since we started Kofuu-Senju Publications.

Pre-orders are coming in, and to make sure that you will be able to get a low number of this strictly limited hardcover edition of 55o copies only, please go here for info on how to place your pre-order.

(photograph by Alex Reinke, Yokohama, april 2010)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011



Waku'an (looking at Bodhidharma's picture) complained, "Why has that Barbarian no beard?"

Mumon's Comment:
If you study Zen, you must study it with all your heart. When you attain enlightenment, it must be true enlightenment. When you really meet Bodhidharma face to face, then you finally have gotten it right. However when you start explaining it with words, you have fallen into duality.

Do not explain your dream
Before a fool.
The barbarian has no beard,
How could you add obscurity to clarity?

Our latest book, "Kokoro", a photobook on irezumi master Horiyoshi III of Yokohama, is now available for pre-order. This 200 page, 250 plus photos, threadbound and hardcover edition is limited to 550 copies only. In order to make sure you will be able to obtain a copy, follow this link.

(photo by Matti 'Senju' Sedholm Horimatsu, Yokohama 2009)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

After months of intense work, especially in the past 3 weeks, we have finally made it to deliver the files of our flagship book KOKORO to the printers yesterday! Words cannot describe how happy we are with the outcome and we cannot wait to hold the book in our hands! If all goes as planned we will offer the first copies of our book at the Milano tattoo convention in February, of course after having sent out the ones we already sold to the early birds.
The book is limited to only 550 numbered copies and has the same dimensions as our last publication Ryushin. Again printed in Sweden by Fälth & Hässler it has 200 pages and is filled with texts from both authors Matti 'Senju' Sedholm and Alex 'Kofuu' Reinke, irezumi master Horiyoshi 3 (including some of his amazing calligraphy) and Alexs' Zen-master Julian 'Daizan' Skinner Roshi, plus old texts and koans of Zen master Dogen Zenji. Of course it shows loads of photographs taken in Japan by Matti and Alex. The photos depict mostly every day scenes of master Horiyoshi III, his tools and surroundings as well as Japanese nature shots, temples and city life. We try to give the observer a profound idea of the spirit of Kokoro, which surrounds everything Japanese, especially its craftsmanship.

The Kokoro book is already available for pre-orders (with pre-payment only) since a month or so. In order to get the lower numbers of the limited edition you need to be quick, as sales have picked up increasingly. more information on how to pre-order can be found here.

(Kokoro Calligraphy by Horiyoshi 3, Photo by Alex Reinke.)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011 everyone!
(Photos by Alex Reinke Plettenberg, Dec.2010)