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Index Card, 002 - Pillow Books
Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

I’ve spent more time in bed than one probably should. I’m not talking about moments spent reading or having intimacy. I’m talking about staring at the ceiling – lost in my thoughts, in search of a reason to pry myself out and do something valuable with my time. When I found the Hagakure, I found a way to shape myself. I found three hundred year old words of advice that somehow spoke to my ear.

I’ve been obsessed with the Samurai figure ever since I was a kid. In my teenage years, I watched all the Samurai films I could find, but with time the legendary Japanese warriors lost some of their shine to me. Eventually, they became more of a symbol of violence or forced submission. Nowadays I think that any soldier serving power is vile and repugnant. Despite I changed my opinion regarding these warriors I still enjoy and get excited with Samurai literature: mangas like Vagabond or books like The book of five rings, still influence some of the things I do as an artist. But the aspect I enjoy the most surrounding Samurai culture is the Hagakure. Written in 1716 by Yamamoto Tsunetomo the Hagakure goes through the knowledge gathered by a samurai turned into a monk. The book mixes philosophy and ideology trying to explain what they call The Way of the Samurai. This book, I think, is more comprehensible and applicable than other related texts like the Bushido and it can be enjoyed on very different levels. The Hagakure or “hidden by the leafs” is an invitation to die while we are still alive and walk The Way in times of anxiety.

︎︎ Read Hagakure

A book can also exist as an autonomous and self-sufficient form, including perhaps a text that emphasizes that form, a text that is an organic part of that form: here begins the new art of making books. (Ulises Carrion)

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