Elisabeth Tonnard

The Pine of Takekuma

This book is based on Matsuo Bashō’s Oku no Hosomichi, one of the major texts of classical Japanese literature. Specifically, it traces Bashō’s description of the pine tree of Takekuma, an immortal image that utters itself through several temporary realizations.

Bashō’s Oku no Hosomichi – one possible English translation is The Narrow Road to the Deep North – is a travel sketch, written in a combination of prose and haiku, based on a journey Bashō undertook in 1689. This journey took shape around many places mentioned and celebrated in earlier Japanese poetry. One of the sights depicted by Bashō is the pine tree of Takekuma. Time and again this tree, forked into two trunks, is resurrected.

The Pine of Takekuma presents and continues this process of resurrections by placing before the reader ten different existing English translations of the same passage in Bashō’s work.

Published in Leerdam, The Netherlands, 2020

Inkjet printed and handbound in a Japanese style stab binding with folds on the foredge, 30 pages, 12×19 cm.

Edition limited to 45 numbered copies.

The book is priced at €95 plus shipping. Order through my webshop or by sending an email.

This book is included in the collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Bodleian Library (special collections at Weston Library), Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature, National Library of The Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek), Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Munich).

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

November 23, 2020 at 5:25 pm