In 2013, January 2013

The Making of the Photo Biography Book of Soke Hatsumi

By now, most of you have seen or have heard of the “A Life in Pictures” the photobiography book of Hatsumi Soke. It was a 3 year long project, but started in 2007 when he asked me to take photos at the DKMS of that year. Little did I know what course this would set me on. As I consider this path ongoing, I can only say that this book is one great, fun goal on this journey. I would like to share a bit of it’s making with you.

Myself with Alex Esteve

I contacted my good friend Alex Esteve in Barcelona, as he has plenty experience with publishing and book printing. He connected me up with a company there, and I have met wonderful people supportive of this project all along the way.

The vision of this book was conceived by me, but it’s actual finished look is a collaboration. While sitting in the book binders office, looking at thousands upon thousands of books and covers, slowly the cover of this book unfolded. What we decided upon had never been done. Those of you who have held the book know how unique and beautiful it feels (I am not modest to say)  Between Alex, the owner of the book binding business and myself, we put this together. Since it was only in our minds I was hard pressed to imagine it’s reality. The first iteration I held in my hands, with the gold imprinted cover was astounding. I was thrilled and knew then, this is it.

The plates

Master page

The printing machines, in 4 colors, 4 machines

The next amazing piece was my being allowed to be there for the master printing. Each page I was able to scrutinize and suggest less or more color, or contrast or whatever was needed. Even before that process I went to the business where the plates for each and every page was made before being sent over to the printers. It was in all, an enlightening experience, and one I am grateful for Alex’s guidance and connections to have.

Checking it over, getting it right.
Many have commented on the price of the book, and I understand it can be a shock when one sees it, without having physically seen or held the book. It weighs over 3 pounds. I won’t justify it’s costs other than to say, I did not cut corners, every piece is of the highest quality, and this is something I made to honor our Grandmaster, his life, his gifts to us, all that he has given. To do that, it can be no less than the best. And as you may know, there are a limited quantity, consider it a collectors edition. It is not for everyone, but it is for all time.

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In the Store are also Kunoichi Taikai items, and Alex’s book, “Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu – A Ninja Tradition”. Take a look!!