I received a book from Anke, a german architect who is building a new house and is planning to install one of our ofuros.
I like to think to my clients as a community of friends. We all share the passion for the japanese aesthetics, the profound naturality, the addictive simplicity of the japanese traditional culture.
But this present from Anke is just more than normal book, more than you would expect to receive from a stranger to which you are linked just by a common interest for japanese hot springs and bathing rituals.
The book is very powerful. It is the diary of a solo trip she made to japan on her 70th birthday.
There are some artistic b/w snapshots and the commenting prose (in german and english) is dry, minimal and conveys vivid images.
“Yohaku no bi” is not only very poetic and energizing, it contains a mine of information for the seekers of the authentic japan.
She picks and describe some fine ryokans and onsens out of the paths of the normal japan tourist and many of them were the set of the novels of famous XXth century japanese writers who shared the same spaces, the same experiences and projected them in their works.
Of course they are well known places but her selection, her descriptions and the fact Anke entangles her travel experiences with the stories of black and white fiction protagonists gives the reader the thrill of an elegant time-trip.
I also would like climb Mt. Haguro, listening to the sound of my steps and savoring in my mind the verses of Matsuo Basho from his 1689 travel diary: “oku no hosomichi” (the narrow road to the interior)
But I would be selfish to keep this little treasure for myself.
Of course you are welcome to follow Anke`s path and enjoy her recommended aesthetic meditation spots.
This is why I decided to share with you this book.
If you are interested please send me an E-mail and I will forward it to Anke (I do not want to publish it here as it may become the target of spam). It’s printed at book on demands, so she can order more books, even one by one. Price is 17.00€ + 4,00€ postage.
When I did the book, I didn’t think of selling it or that somebody I don’t know might be interested. I did it because I really liked to do it and thought it might be a nice Christmas present for friends and acquaintances and people who are interested in Japan.