I recently re-read this wonderful book that I wanted to share with everyone. It's called the Book of Five Rings, or The Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. The book was written around 1645 by the famous swordsman and philosopher, Musashi.
I had read it once before when I was in college and was excited to re-read it at this stage in my life. It's really easy to find and the copy I got is illustrated, which is cool, but not necessary. The beauty of this book is that the ideas don't only apply to being a swordsman; the book is really about larger philosophical ideas. I read it from an artistic point of view and learned a ton. Musashi was also interested in all the arts and even did some painting and calligraphy.
The final part of the whole book has the biggest impact on me. It's a list of around 21 precepts translated as "The Path Walked Alone" that Musashi lays out in a bullet point type format. It's a beautiful list and acts as a simple guide to living well.
I encourage everyone to read this book at some point and share it with as many people as possible.
Anyone interested in more information can check out:
Those who know me, know that I love the academic painter, William Bouguereau. I recently had the opportunity to purchase a letter, written and signed by Bouguereau. I wanted to share this letter and its translation because it might be interesting to other people also. I'm so grateful to my friend, Mr. Arnaud Courgey for his beautiful translation. Please see below for the translation.
I also learned that the black border on the paper means that Bouguereau was in mourning. I did some research and found out that in 1880, his grandson, Willie, was born which was a joyous time for Bouguereau, but before that, Bouguereau experienced much grief from family deaths.
My interpretation of the letter is that an artist wrote to Bouguereau to ask about why they weren't selected for a salon exhibit or other show and Bouguereau wrote back to explain the jury's selection. I like this letter because it shows Bouguereau's compassion by the fact that he took the time to write to this artist. I hope any fellow Bouguereau fans enjoy this letter and will share the information!
My Neighbor Totoro + Kiki's Delivery Service
I took a trip with my best friend to Kinokuniya yesterday. It's my favorite bookstore and has two locations: one of them is in New York City and there's another one in Edgewater, NJ. We went to the one in Edgewater, which is connected to a large Japanese market called Mitsuwa. The market has amazing food and it's a great place to find some hard-to-find Japanese items.
I was poking around Kinokuniya, which has a section specifically for Studio Ghibli. I was able to find a few books that I've had my eye one for a while. I was originally going to get them online, but the prices at Kinokuniya are competitive.
The books that I picked up are two storyboard collections from Hayao Miyazaki. The store had a bunch of them and I decided to pick up two of them. As an illustrator, these books are a great way to learn the art of storyboarding. They're beautifully designed with a dust jacket and slipcase. It's all in Japanese, but they're still a treasure trove of illustrations. Miyazaki's skill level still shocks me and it honestly feels like you're watching a pencil version of the movie when you look through these storyboards.
Kinokuniya can also order books for you and you can pick them up from their stores. Check out the images below and have a great weekend!