There is a great amount of confusion regarding this two volume set in regards to publication dates. Yes the original was done in 2003, but a second printing done in 2008 includes a DVD updating missing prints from the 2003 publication and contains a movie made during the 1950's detailing the entire process of producing a woodblock print. Neither the book description or the product detail sections indicate the correct date of publication or mention the inclusion of the DVD.
The problem partly lies with the fact that the ISBN numbers were not changed for the 2008 edition. This was confirmed through email with the publisher. After receiving my order I found the books indicated a 2008 copyright date and included the DVD in volume 2. Additional confusion with the listing is the dust jacket cover image posted by David Held of a moon lighted night scene "Moon at Magome". If I am correct this cover image was used on the original 2003 publication. The 2008 edition that I received used the snow scene "Ochanomizu". These differences might help to identify the year of publication between these editions.
From the standpoint as an amateur collector I find that I long for additional details regarding the specifics of the prints in this reference. This would include paper/image size, number of blocks used, number of printing impressions, and any available notes. These notes may include the status of the original wood blocks as many were likely destroyed from fire during the great Kanto earthquake in 1923. It would also be desirable to know if and when new blocks were cut and used for later editions. Notations of any techniques used to produce visual effects on the image would be welcomed too.
I do appreciate the many references made to websites and other publications for further research in which I might find this kind of detailed information, but I really wanted this publication to be the "go to" reference for Hasui. I realize that this would be very difficult to do considering the magnitude of his work, and the many other carvers, printers, and publishers involved. The lack of detailed records in existence may also contribute to this missing information. However I am assured that this publication will aid the heirs of my collection to understand and appreciate the works of this artist and the painstaking process to produce a quality woodblock print. In the movie Hasui also gives great credit to the carvers and printers, who in my opinion, do not receive the recognition they deserve for their dedication, skill, and contribution to the finished product.
Now if they could only condense the information in volume one to include only English text or Japanese text for two separate language versions into one book with the prints. I would hope that this would reduce the production costs and lower the price of this reference so that it could be more affordable to the many fans of Hasui works.
BEWARE! As an important side note regarding shipment packaging I reported the following information to Amazon after my initial shipment was damaged and after my exchange shipment:
"This two volume reference was not packaged with any kind or form of packing material inside the shipping box. This allowed the 10 lb weight and mass of the volumes to shift around and cause damage to the corners of both the storage box and books. The internal shifting of the contents also caused scrape marks on the exterior surface of the storage box containing both volumes. The shifting of the mass and weight of the contents also took it's toll on the shipping box. The shipping box used was too small to provide adequate space for both the proper amount of packing material (if used) and the contents of the shipment."
I even called customer service to report this problem prior to the replacement shipment to avoid the same issue, but the second shipment arrived in the same manner, but luckily without damage.