My search continues for that book of Hishizashi embroidery patterns. I had read that there was one written back in 1977 by Chuzaburo Tanaka and now I have found a photo of the cover on a Japanese blog.
I wish I spoke Japanese because these online translators leave a lot to be desired. But I am getting closer. Just to have a photo of the book gives me hope that one day I might be able to get a copy. These photos are so tantalising. I did find a site where the book had been listed for sale but that was a few years ago and the listed price was 15,000 yen about $200.00.
On the same blog back in 2008, I found a reference to another book Edited by Aiko Suzuki, " 堯子 Hatta pattern collection stab Mitsubishi In 1989." (I suspect that where I couldn't get a translation should read Hishizashi pattern collection. The translation also says that the cover is pale yellow when it is pale blue.)
With this book I find there is mention of nearly 1,000 patterns. Looking at the patterns I have done to date I can understand this. Many of the patterns are different only in the thread count, the pattern looks the same. If you were to apply this alone to the 400 patterns the number of would increase out of sight.
This is all a bit of a break through for my research. I can now take these books to the University and see if they can locate any copies for me.