The Book of Ikebana by Kawase Toshirou
The Book of Ikebana
(Kodansha International, Tokyo: 2000)
READ: December 2006
This is partly a how-to book and partly a why-to book. Ikebana is the Japanese art of arranging flowers. Allow me to quote from the book's Foreword - he says it better than I could:
[T]his book discusses flowers in detail from a variety of perspectives as they have been passed down through the generations in the hearts of the Japanese. And to make flower arrangement more enjoyable, it provides easy-to-understand explanations - in both Japanese and English - from the basics of handling flowers to fairly advanced professional techniques, all richly illustrated.
I'm slightly hopeless at arranging flowers. But I've gotten some neat ideas from this book. I also like reading about the culture of flower arranging in Japan.
This book is part of a series of books on Japanese life and culture that are published in bilingual editions by Kodansha International. I plan on picking up a few more before leaving Japan, as I think they're well-written and interesting.