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Harris, Mark Edward. THE WAY OF THE JAPANESE BATH: PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK EDWARD HARRIS. Los Angeles, CA: Shashin Press, 2003. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 125 pages. Fine.

Collection of photographs with accompanying text on subject. One of the most beautiful photography books of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with the Second and Third Editions. An austerely elegant production by Mark Edward Harris and Scott Rivera: Oversize-volume format. Black cloth boards with black titles embossed on the cover and spine and photographic reproduction pasted on the recessed center, as issued. Photographs and text by Mark Edward Harris. Matching cloth and hard board slipcase with white Japanese clasps at the end. Printed on pristine-white coated stock paper in China to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name held at the Apex Gallery Los Angeles from February 21 through March 29, 2003. The exhibition travelled on to other venues. Presents one of the most enchanting and unusual photographic records of our time: Mark Edward Harris' scrupulous, discreet, and loving document-cum-poem on the Japanese ritual of communal public bathing. "A beautifully composed walk through the ancient custom of the Japanese hot-spring bath. Harris gives us all the details of this time-honored ritual, showing us the various locations, describing the ritual and the quality of the water, which is thought to have medicinal purposes. Other photographs reveal the convivial nature of the baths, which serve as an equivalent to a social club, where one can relax, reflect, and interact. Shot in elegant black-and-white through the shadows and haze of the steam coming off the water, Harris' photographs treat his subject with deep respect" (Publisher's blurb). The book is suffused with a warmth and sensuality that are palpable. One feels transported to another world where one leaves this world behind and lets go. A shower, whether private or communal, is merely about rinsing oneself (of grime, exhaustion, dead skin). A bath, especially as the Japanese practice it, is a slow and near-contemplative cleansing of body and soul, and is about immersion and renewal. A "must-have" title for Mark Edward Harris collectors and admirers (if not users) of the Japanese bath. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen by Mark Edward Harris. It is signed directly on the page, not on a tipped-in page or a bookplate. Laid-in is a copy of the Souvenir Invitation for the exhibition opening. This title is now highly collectible. This is the only such signed copy of the true First Edition available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A rare signed copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with tritone plates. One of the most brilliant living American photographers. A fine collectible copy. . ISBN 0972784101. $150.00

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