Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Treat for My Eyes


This illustrated book just arrived in my mailbox from Japan and I'm delighted!  I bought it on eBay from a used book dealer, but as typical of all Japanese sellers, what the Japanese consider 'used' is so much better than 'new with some shelf wear' in the US.  (At least, that has been my personal experience with100% of my transactions.)  This volume is practically pristine.  Just beautiful in the print quality as well as the over all design with the use of transparency (both clear acrylic cover and with some vellum pages internally).  Such a treat for the eyes and soul!!!

Reiko Okano, the manga artist, is my singular favorite among all my inspirations.  Whenever I get an interview and someone asks to list my inspirations, I always mention her name.  Her art is simply spectacular with such attention to detail and sensitivity to the subtlety of colors.  I can look at her art all day and never tire, and she is a wonderful manga-ka with beautiful way of telling a story as well.

The Onmyouji series, I believe, has not been widely available in the US, although I am aware of the French-language version having been published.  This Heian period historical drama demands much knowledge of Japanese history and culture, not to mention kanji, it is quite possible that finding a suitable translator for the job is no easy task for any publisher interested in the publication of the English-language version.  I've read the 13-volume manga series with utter delight over the years, and these books remain a major source of my artistic inspiration to this day.

The large scale presentation of the illustrations in full color in this volume is sure to inspire me in the coming months with some Japanese- or Asian-flavored fantasy pieces or some more contemporary Buddhist fantasy art.

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