WON: Take Ivy by T. Hayashida

UPDATE 07.31.09: Finally picked up the book in the mail.  More images and review HERE.

DISCLAIMER: not much I’m really adding to the Take Ivy vernacular that hasn’t already been represented on some other blog on the interweb…mainly just regurgitating what’s already been conversed…with an added kink or two…

Exceedingly difficult to find?  Really?

Over here at Hotdish & Bars, I’ve got myself in a celebratory mood over an auction I won the other night for a copy of Take Ivy, a largely picture-based book from Japanese photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida containing images he took on the Ivy campuses back in the 1960s.

take ivy winning bid

Mine is a story that began eons ago (2008) when Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean essentially brought attention to this book stateside by blogging about his copy.

**Note: I’ve been quietly stalking ACL for a while now…and I hope I’m not committing a disservice by simplifying the efforts of ACL in saying this, but it is an excellent place for all that is Americana in style…I encourage you to take a peak if you haven’t done so…**

Not long thereafter, I noticed mention of the book on a few other of my personal favorites in terms of blogs…Blackbird

…and then on the Rugby blog…

**Note #2: Although I’ve outgrown the Rugby brand, and it has most definitely outgrown its own novelty, I fondly remember being back in Boston for school in Fall 2004 and finding this charming little concept test store — the first and only one at the time — set loose from the Ralph Lauren behemoth onto Newbury Street…I would find myself frequenting their wares with increasing intrigue/obsession over the course of that year…and so I like peaking onto the Rugby site from time to time now that I’m back home in the Midwest…**

Now, call it being dense and not picking up on cues…I also blame school for keeping my mind off of such frivolousities…but it wasn’t until this current summer, when life became easier that I started seriously looking into obtaining a copy…and yes, the fact that this book was once again referenced in an article on American style by way of the Far East by The New York Times definitely helped to refresh and bring back to the forefront my intrigue with the book…

28673563image per The New York Times

Of course, by then, there were accounts of this book going for much higher prices on ebay than I was willing to put down for a bid.  So I decided to circumvent the bottleneck effect here in the States and go straight to the source of origin by using a contact in Japan.

At first, I tried locating online antiquarian booksellers in Japan for my contact to purchase from…unfortunately, mine was a well-beaten path and the majority of the sites I found no longer had their copy up for sale anymore…but I got a good approximation for how much the book was going for in Japan…let me just say the range was definitely one that I was willing to work with and had me eyeing online booksellers here in the US as if they were snake-oil salesmen with their pitch that the book “has officially been designated ‘impossible’ to find by savvy international rare books dealers so the ‘wow’ factor in this instance is most applicable” or that it is “highly sought after in Japan” (emphasis given) as well…

And so I began looking at auctions…the rest is now history  🙂

My copy is from a batch released in 1980, so it isn’t as new as ACL’s…the most recent release in 2006 has a slightly modified cover where the bottom is printed “Hachette Fujingaho” as opposed to previous releases that instead contain “Fujingahosha.”  I’ve seen copies floating around with a release date from the 70s as well as copies of the original first print…so this book has been revisited a few times over the decades…I’ll definitely try to be keeping my eyes peeled for the next reprinting within this lifetime…whenever that may be…

take ivy winning bid 2

take ivy winning bid 3

This book makes a great addition to my simple-but-hopefully-growing collection of coffee table inhabitants…

I think the most ridiculous pricepoints I’ve seen have been for $2400 on AbeBooks, seconded by Horse Books Plus selling it for $2000.  Auction-wise, one just sold for $799 on ebay, still much too steep for a poor gradstudent like me.  The “cheapest” version I’ve found is free through Tintin’s blog The Trad where he has scanned all the images for his viewers.

If you’re interested in obtaining a copy for yourself and also feel the stateside prices are not budget-friendly, definitely feel free to hit me a comment (leave your email where it says to enter one) and I’d be more than willing to share with you THE most professional and user-friendly individual I have ever worked with in obtaining overseas goods.

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2 responses to “WON: Take Ivy by T. Hayashida

  1. these photographs are eerily modern… I just wish this book wasn’t incredibly rare! How the heck did you get a copy?!

  2. I’m organizing an exhibition (and writing the accompanying book) on contemporary japanese fashion, and I would love to 1) reproduce a picture from TAKE IVY, or the cover, in my book, and 2) put the book on display in the exhibition. Can you help with either?

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