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 Posted: Mon Dec 21st, 2009 08:08 pm
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AdamMcLean
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I recently bought a Japanese book on tarot published in 1978 by Mainichi Simbun-Sha and edited by Masao Ono. It included some quite amazing  designs for the majors by Nariyuki Sawaki.  Sawaki's tarot does not appear to have been published. Death is quite astounding.

Attachment: Unknown_Japanese1978.jpg (Downloaded 355 times)

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 Posted: Mon Dec 21st, 2009 11:07 pm
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rylla
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Very attractive. Is it a 22 cards or 78 cards deck? Aren't you thinking of making a major arcana deck?

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 Posted: Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 01:07 am
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papoon
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Adam, any chance you could post a scan of the book's cover (just in case I ever encounter a copy online)?

Thanks!

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 Posted: Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 08:24 am
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AdamMcLean
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rylla wrote: Very attractive. Is it a 22 cards or 78 cards deck? Aren't you thinking of making a major arcana deck?
Only 22 Majors  are depicted in the book.

I cannot just use these images and publish it as a tarot deck. I would need the artist's permission, as these images are obviously copyright.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 08:29 am
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AdamMcLean
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Here is the cover of the Masao Ono book.

Attachment: Masao_Ono.jpg (Downloaded 333 times)

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 Posted: Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 12:43 pm
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rylla
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AdamMcLean wrote:  I would need the artist's permission, as these images are obviously copyright.

Of course you can't, that's how I meant it.

Last edited on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 01:12 pm by rylla

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 Posted: Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 02:00 pm
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AdamMcLean
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It is not just the copyright problem. It is often difficult to find people after 30+ years. In the case of a Japanese artist, negotiating the contract terms could be very difficult, as one would not expect them to easily sign a contract in English, the terms of which they could not immediately check.

There are many early tarots one sees in Kaplan vol I and III. Some seem to be extremely high quality artwork even in the small black and white illustrations. I have often tried to get in touch with an artist to see if I might be able to publish their tarot in my series. It often proves problematic. My one success was
Chris Bivins' Tarot Obscura which I found in Kaplan and managed to find him through his web site.
I also managed to buy the last remaining copies of the Aleph Tarot which I found in Kaplan, though under another title.

It would be a good idea to try and find some of the artists whose unpublished work found its way into Kaplan's volumes, with a view to getting high quality scans of the artwork, either with a view to publish, or else to preserve these images in an archive. Some of the artists from the 1970's may well now be in their 60's and 70's and the artwork could be lost when they die - not all relatives would find some old tarot designs worth keeping.

Last edited on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 02:00 pm by AdamMcLean

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 Posted: Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 02:58 pm
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skad1
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papoon wrote: Adam, any chance you could post a scan of the book's cover (just in case I ever encounter a copy online)?

Thanks!


Hey, if you find an extra let me know!

:cl

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 Posted: Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 05:10 pm
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truelighth
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Wonderful art. Thanks for sharing, Adam. It would indeed be nice to see this beauty in print, but I also understand it will probably not happen. Anyway, nice find!:ok

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 Posted: Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 09:48 pm
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papoon
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AdamMcLean wrote:Here is the cover of the Masao Ono book.
I don't think I've ever encountered that one before, but at least now I know what to look for. Thanks Adam!

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 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2009 07:16 pm
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Kimber
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AdamMcLean wrote: I also managed to buy the last remaining copies of the Aleph Tarot which I found in Kaplan, though under another title.



I purchased a copy of the lovely Aleph from you, and now I'm curious - what was the original name in Kaplan I?

Kimber:z

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 Posted: Wed Mar 17th, 2010 09:24 pm
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papoon
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I finally received my copy of the Masao Ono book today and, now having seen all of the Sawaki cards (or, I guess, images, if they were never actually cards), I'm doubly sorry that they were never published. It's really nice.

As far as I can tell, they are the only cards that appear in the book that are not either from a historical deck or from a published modern deck. There's a page of Japanese text about them and I'm planning to impose on a friend who reads Japanese to give me some idea of what it says.

(It's also great to have the images of the Shuji Terayama/Susuki Nanami deck.)

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 Posted: Thu Mar 18th, 2010 12:49 am
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papoon
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Quick update. Haven't gotten in touch wth my Japanese-speaking friend yet, but plugging some of the kanji from the book into Google, I've discovered that the artist is definitely still around, active, and contactable (Adam?).

The official transliteration of his birth name is actually Shigeyuki Sawaki, but he has since adopted the nom de art of Leo Sawaki. He has a web site here. He is also a member of the Japanese International Fantastic Art Association (which also includes Shigeo Otake of Kinoko Tarot fame). They have a web site with links to lots of interesting art here.

No mention of the tarot illustrations on either of those sites.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 18th, 2010 08:59 am
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AdamMcLean
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papoon wrote: I've discovered that the artist is definitely still around, active, and contactable


I would be happy to explore the possibilty of publishing the tarot images in deck form.

Last edited on Thu Mar 18th, 2010 09:00 am by AdamMcLean

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 Posted: Wed Mar 31st, 2010 02:06 am
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Aline
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That nice, I want to have it. It does not have very much color but the Design is very good

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 Posted: Tue May 11th, 2010 04:35 am
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lulukat
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papoon wrote:


The official transliteration of his birth name is actually Shigeyuki Sawaki, but he has since adopted the nom de art of Leo Sawaki.


I can't find the "impressed looking bunny"-icon but I'm impressed ; )

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 Posted: Tue May 11th, 2010 08:13 am
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AdamMcLean
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Sadly, it does not seem to be possible to contact the artist Leo Sawaki, so it seems unlikely that I would be able to publish this tarot.

The same thing happened with Amerigo Folchi when I tried to contact him about publishing editions of some of his unpublished tarot designs.

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 Posted: Tue May 11th, 2010 06:51 pm
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truelighth
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AdamMcLean wrote: Sadly, it does not seem to be possible to contact the artist Leo Sawaki, so it seems unlikely that I would be able to publish this tarot.

The same thing happened with Amerigo Folchi when I tried to contact him about publishing editions of some of his unpublished tarot designs.


That is a real pity, that you can't contact this artist.  Your publications are so wonderful. I never knew you tried to contact Folchi. I would have loved to see some of his unpublished work in print. Alas!

Thanks for trying anyway :ro

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 Posted: Thu Nov 21st, 2013 03:02 am
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papoon
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It appears that the Death card from the My Birthday tarot that Adam posted on his blog today is a (minor) variation of the Sawaki Death card. (The other two he posted, however, are different.)

I don't know if that necessarily implies that the My Birthday tarot is by Sawaki, but if not, someone definitely ripped him off.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 21st, 2013 04:15 am
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debra
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Wow. Good catch!

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 Posted: Thu Nov 21st, 2013 09:03 am
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AdamMcLean
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It is to some extent based on the Sawaki, but by no means an exact copy.

Unfortunately as I am working on my tarot collection at the moment, things are a bit of a muddle and I cannot find the book with the Sawaki images. I have scans I made of some cards for showing on my weblog. When I find the book I
will write back with my observations.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 21st, 2013 06:18 pm
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papoon
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I do have the Masao Ono book with the entire Sawaki Tarot at hand and while I only know the three cards of the My Birthday Tarot that Adam posted, I can confirm that the My Birthday Empress and the Star are completely different images from the Sawaki Tarot Empress and the Star in the Ono book.

So Adam's My Birthday Tarot is definitely not simply a version of the Ono book Sawaki Tarot, but the Death is definitely based on it. Once Adam finds his copy of the book, it will be interesting to know if any other of the My Birthday cards are based on the Ono Sawaki cards.

And damn, I'd still love to see the Ono Sawaki published in one form or another.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 21st, 2013 09:53 pm
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AdamMcLean
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papoon wrote:
I'd still love to see the Ono Sawaki published in one form or another.

I so agree. I wish there was something I could do.

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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 11:50 am
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AdamMcLean
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A Japanese contact, Yoko Tanaka, has confirmed to me that the My Birthday Tarot that I mentioned on 21st November is indeed by Leo Sawaki.

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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 04:49 pm
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papoon
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Thanks, Adam. At least it's good to know that it wasn't someone just ripping him off.

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