Kumano Kodo

A Modern Pilgrimage: Along the Kumano Kodo

A Portfolio by Harold Davis. Click here for the video: Kumano kodo: A modern pilgrimage

Panorama of the Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Panorama of the Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

A Modern Pilgrimage: Along the Kumano Kodo by Harold Davis is an artist book and portfolio of images that astutely blends old-craft hand traditions and materials with and cutting-edge new technologies to create an exquisite limited edition art book and art object that is completely unique.

In his introduction to the project, Harold Davis writes: “It has always been one of my dreams to explore the rural and spiritual side of Japan. In 2013 I was lucky to get to walk the the Kumano Kodo spiritual trail,” the heart of Shugendo Buddhism. He continues: “Of course, in Japan it is impossible to explore the rural without also encountering modern, crowded Japan. Spirituality and modern Japanese life co-mingle in some very odd ways”—hence the “Modern Pilgrimage” portion of the title of his portfolio.

But as Harold Davis remarks, “my main goal as an artist in this body of work as been to reflect my true sense of spiritual awe at the manifest gifts one can find as a pilgrim in this, our sacred earth.”

Nachi-san © Harold Davis

Nachi-san © Harold Davis

What comes with the Kumano Kodo portfolio:

A Modern Pilgrimage: Along the Kumano Kodo portfolio, consists of thirteen images on a single 16.5 foot long sheet of Kozo washi, hand printed, scored, and folded into unique artist’s book.

Prints from the Kumano kodo portfolio © Harold Davis

Prints from the Kumano kodo portfolio © Harold Davis

The outer-wrapper containing the Kumano Kodo portfolio is a created from special, mold-made paper that is hand scored and folded. Printed on the portfolio wrapper is a panoramic photograph titled Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po.



Images from the Kumano Kodo portfolio © Harold Davis

Included with the Kumano Kodo portfolio is a descriptive numbered, initialed and illustrated pamphlet. This hand-bound archival pamphlet with a hand applied inkan was written by Harold Davis. It explores his photographic journey on the spiritual pilgrimage trail and its relationship to modern Japan. The pamphlet also includes detailed descriptions of each photograph.

Kumano kodo portfolio © Harold Davos

Kumano Kodo descriptive pamphlet © Harold Davos

The portfolio also includes a handsome, custom archival portfolio box for safe storage and easy display of all the Kumano kodo portfolio elements.

In addition, each copy of the portfolio ships with a signed 10″ x 10″ archival presentation print of Harold Davis’s popular Temple Dragon image, printed on Awagami kozo washi, and suitable for framing. This is the image on the cover of Harold’s book Achieving Your Potential as a Photographer: A Photographer’s Creative Companion and Workbook. This print by itself is a $495 value.

Temple Dragon © Harold Davis

Temple Dragon © Harold Davis

All of the above ships in a custom-padded presentation box that protects each part of the portfolio suite while in transit.

Kumano kodo portfolio center spread

Kuman Kodo pano print © Harold Davis

Edition size:

A Modern Pilgrimage: Along the Kumano Kodo is hand assembled in an edition strictly limited to 12 copies plus 4 artist proofs. Each portfolio in the edition is hand-signed and numbered by Harold Davis.

How the Kumano Kodo portfolio was made:

A Modern Pilgrimage: Along the Kumano Kodo was hand-printed in the Harold Davis studio on an Epson 9900 Stylus Pro printer using archival inks. The portfolio is printed on one continuous 16.5 foot (five meter) length of archival Japanese Kozo washi produced at the Awagami Factory on Shikoku Island. Each strip is then hand scored and folded to create the “pagination” containing the thirteen images.

Scoring the portfolio

Scoring the portfolio © Harold Davis

Once printed, scored, and folded, the portfolio is signed and embellished with the artist’s hand-applied personal Japanese inkan. It is then wrapped in a cover showing the panoramic view of Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po, translated as “the view of 3,600 peaks,” photographed from a pass high on the Kumano Kodo trail. The cover is printed on archival 310gsm 100% cotton mold-made paper.

Preparing the portfolio © Harold Davis

Preparing the portfolio © Harold Davis

In its “wrapper” the portfolio is added to a custom display box, which also includes a hand printed and bound pamphlet by Harold Davis describing his modern pilgrimage, and explaining the photos. Each pamphlet is numbered and hand-initialed, and decorated with the artist’s hand-applied inkan.

Kumano Kodo pricing and ordering information:  The current price for the Kumano Kodo portfolio is $1150.00 (plus shipping and sales tax as applicable).

Kumano Kodo limited edition pricing:

Edition Number Price
1-3 $650  Sold out
4-6 $1150 Two left
7-9 $1800
10-12 TBD

To place an order or for more information, please contact the studio at 510.528.9977 or by email at info@photoblog2.com.

To Harold (and wonderful wife):

We just had the ‘unveiling’ of my (our) beautiful Komamo Kodo Portfolio. How impeccably done! Beginning with the exterior shipping packaging to the most minute detail in each step of the exciting journey of the un-packaging! Your presentation is phenomenal to say the least of the photographic eye and exquisite design of the album!! So well done!!! AND What An Honor to be the custodian!!! Thank you so very much!!!

This beautiful work of art from both of you will always be treasured and kept protected! Words cannot express our excitement and gratitude!!!


“Harold’s Japan work presents a remarkable synthesis of post-modern sentiment with a true appreciation for Japanese aesthetics. This duality is also embodied in the craft aspects of the portfolio, blending as it does modern technology with hand-craft traditions.”—G.C.

Links for more information:

Misty Mountains © Harold Davis

Misty Mountains © Harold Davis

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is a widely-recognized artist and a leading contemporary photographer. His work is commissioned, collected and exhibited widely.

Harold Davis is a Zeiss Lens Ambassador and a Moab Master. His work demonstrates that advances in the technology and craft of digital photography have created an entirely new medium that begins with photography and continues as digital art. This extraordinary imagery builds on the masterworks of the past while embracing revolutionary innovations in photography. Harold Davis’s handcrafted digital botanical prints on Washi rice paper are particularly sought after. As Popular Photography Magazine observes, “Harold Davis’s ethereal floral arrangements have a purity and translucence that borders on spiritual.”

Harold Davis is the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including most recently Achieving Your Potential As a Photographer (Focal Press) and The Way of the Digital Photographer (Peachpit).

Dhyana Mudra © Harold Davis

Dhyana Mudra © Harold Davis