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'My Solitudes'


daveEver since childhood I have been interested in outdoor life, making frequent hiking and camping trips. In recent years I have explored areas near my home in Ome, a suburb of Tokyo, and have discovered three 'private' places to which I frequently return - one on a quiet river, one deep on a forested mountainside, and one on a deserted stretch of seacoast. In this series, the collectors will come along with me, as I return to these places with my camping gear - notebook and sketchbook in hand.

The complete series will consist of 12 prints, based on designs created during four visits to each of the three places - once in each season. That would make a logical one-year project, but one month isn't enough time for all the work that will be necessary to create each print, so they will be issued at two month (+) intervals, beginning in early summer of 2007, and running through the spring of 2010.

What will we see in the prints? As you can imagine, we will see the beauty of these Japanese landscapes in all weathers and all seasons. What will we read in the book? Readers of my stories know that it is useless to predict where the 'thread' will go. While sitting on a peaceful river bank, I will see a bird fly overhead, and the story will fly away just as freely as the bird.

But the overall theme - for both prints and stories - will be established by the landscape, as we discover that in and around this vast metropolis of 35,000,000 people, it remains possible to find such peaceful and natural environments. That any of the 35,000,000 people living here could do the same things I have done - they too could watch the full moon rise over a silver sea, see the hawk dive for fish, or open their tent flap on a crisp winter morning to the enchanting sight of a fresh snowfall blanketing the woods ...

temp sample book image

Series details: each book chapter is issued as a separately bound volume (in traditional Japanese tied binding) with the woodblock print tipped into it. (This photo shows right-opening Japanese editions; the English editions are left-opening ...)

Here is how the books are made. [Slideshow Version] The chapters stand by themselves as independent stories, but will make a coherent whole once the full set is complete. Each print/chapter will be 8,000 yen, and a wooden storage box in which to keep the set of 12 volumes will also be available.

[Notice: the prints that Dave made for the series are now all gone. The hard cherry blocks are still in wonderful condition though, so the set is now being brought back to life in a new edition being prepared under Dave’s supervision by the Mokuhankan printers. For information on this edition, and how to subscribe to it, please visit the Mokuhankan catalogue.]