a page from the book 'Fugaku Hyakkei'

Colour woodcut, 1835

I saw a copy of the book containing this design in the Hara Shobo bookshop here in Tokyo back on an early trip to Japan. The owner let me hold it for a while and look through it, and if you've ever had a chance to see one of these books close-up you will know what that felt like ...

The book was of course for sale ... for 100,000 yen. Just 100,000 yen. How that man could possibly have considered exchanging that incredible object for ten scruffy pieces of paper completely eludes me.

I am having a pretty good life, and have very few regrets, but what I did that day I will regret until the day I die. I left the shop without buying it ...

What a fool! To think of things like food and rent ... What an absolute fool!