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The Name of the Willow

2023, MPK Books

A philosophical folk tale which suggests that by changing the way we name things, we can change the way we see the world.

Starting with a single willow tree growing on a riverbank, we come to discover all the things that shape the tree into what it actually is and, by that, we find that the willow is not a single, separate thing, but a confluence of streams, an aggregate of interactions. And, its true name includes all of the many things that make it what it is.

The journey to make this book has been a year-and-a-half long project working through all the illustrations as well as writing and laying out the book.The book was printed in Kyoto and hand-bound by Kyoto artisans with a sewn spine in the traditional watoji method. The paper used in the book, Panshion 303 by Molza, is a special blend developed for contemporary printing presses that was created to evoke the soft, fibrous quality of Japanese mitsumata paper. It was printed on Fujifilm's high-end digital Jet Press 750s, using their proprietary Vividia water-based pigment inks.

The original illustrations were done on Kōchi mashi, Japanese linen paper, using pastels, inks, and graphite powder. Each sheet was first dyed with various inks before the drawing was started. The deep black was made using a custom-ground graphite powder. The distinctive green mimics the color used in Japanese nihonga paintings known as "ryoku shō", which is made from finely-ground malachite. 

Separate English and Japanese editions are available. Click here for more on the Japanese edition.   

The story is based on an essay of the same name that appeared in the previously published collection, Of Arcs and Circles.

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The Name of the Willow
Shipping Outside Japan

¥14,000 book + ¥1,500 shipping via Printed Matter (5~10 days)

The Name of the Willow
Shipping Within Japan

¥14,000 book + ¥500 shipping via Registered Mail (3~5 days)

For bulk, mixed or special orders, send an email via this link:
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