Heiko Michael Hartmann / Do
Heiko Michael Hartmann / Do
20.74 × 6.89 in
4 in stock
Scripps College, Denison Library
University of Basel
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB)
In his text “Do”, the Berlin-based author Heiko Michael Hartmann describes the art of Japanese Archery, Kyudo, which literally means “way of the bow”. The days where the Japanese bow was used as a weapon are long past and modern Kyudo is practiced primarily as a method of physical, moral, and spiritual development.
In dense and concentrated words Hartmann writes about the archer‘s spiritual state and his movements starting from taking the shooting position until releasing the arrow and stepping back. We understand that the most important factor for a true shot is not the technique, but a true shot is one that is pure and right-minded, where the three elements of attitude, movement, and technique unite in a state of perfect harmony.
The way of the arrow can be divided into the so-called Hassetsu, the eight fundamental stages of shooting. All of these movements, from the first to the last, must by no means be separated from each other. They are part of one continuous sequence of movements that are performed with seamless integration. I chose this division into eight stages as the base concept for my book, printing the text on eight quires in oblong format. Each of these layers is folded in a 2:3 relation, taking pattern from the asymmetric form of the Japanese bow, resulting in pages of different lengths.
I printed on Japanese Katajigami paper, which normally is used for the production of stencils for printing patterns onto fabric. The paper is dyed with the astringent juice of the kaki fruit, giving it a reddish-brown tone. Afterward it is put into a smoke chamber for at least two weeks, replacing the sour smell with a smoky one. Because of its color and consistency, this paper reminds us of wood and evokes a smell like in Buddhist temples. Due to the dying process, the recto differs significantly from the verso.
On the recto of all pages, I printed the text, and on the recto, illustrations referring to the Hassetsu. In detail, these are:
1. Ashibumi, footing
2. Dozukuri, correcting the posture
3. Yugamae, readying the bow
4. Uchiokoshi, raising the bow
5. Hikiwake, drawing the bow
6. Kai (Nobiai, Jinnan), meeting, completing the draw,
7. Hanare, the release
8. Zanshin, continuation, remaining body or remaining spirit
Letterpress print in black on Katajigami paper using zinc plates.
7 multicolored illustrations printed from strips of bamboo.
Bound in dark-blue mitsumata paper printed in violet with a bamboo pattern.
Case covered with mitsumata paper and katajigami paper.
Printed with the title and tied with a bowstring.