The Flowers of Japan and the Art of Floral Arrangement

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Kodansha International, 1891 - Gardening - 180 pages
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This beautiful and informative book was the first glimpse most Westerners ever had of the Japanese art of ikebana.
Its author, Josiah Conder, was a British architect invited to Japan at the end of the nineteenth century to help create Japan's first Western-style buildings. Conder remained there for the rest of his life, and his love of the country and its culture inspired him to undertake years of study of Japanese Painting, gardens, and flower arrangement.
Conder's classic text-with its eloquent explanation of why certain seasonal flowers should be used, why some are "felicitous" and others "ominous," and how even the simplest-looking arrangement can mean much more than meets the eye-has a great deal to say not only about ikebana but about Japan's sense of ceremony and custom.
Richly illustrated throughout, and with sixteen pages of grand color pictures, this new edition of his pioneering work retains the period feel of the original. For modern enthusiasts of ikebana or of more Western-style flower arranging, the book offers a fascinating insight into the sensibilities that helped form the art, In addition, a wealth of written and pictorial information on the various containers used-bamboo tubes, bronze vases, lacquer ware, and baskets-will appeal to those who have an interest in Oriental antiques.
And to place all this in context, Paula Pryke-the author of Flowers, Flowers!-and Joseph LaPenta, a Tokyo-based ikebana scholar, provide opening commentaries.

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The Flowers of Japan and the Art of Floral Arrangement

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Conder traveled to Japan in 1877 to establish the architecture curriculum at Tokyo's Imperial College of Engineering. He learned as much about Japanese culture as he taught and released this volume ... Read full review

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About the author (1891)


JOSIAH CONDER (1852-1920), a graduate of the Royal Institute of Architects, came to Japan at the age of twenty-five to play a role in the modernization of the emerging Japanese state. He served concurrently as a professor of architecture and a consultant to the Japanese government. Between 1878 and 1907 he designed over fifty major buildings in the Tokyo area, which served as models for the rapidly industrializing nation. His name is mentioned in all books dealing with early modern architecture in Japan. The many pupils he taught over the years were to form the first generation of Japanese architects building in the Western style. He remained in Japan until his death, and is buried at Gokokuji Temple in Tokyo.

Apart from The Flowers of Japan, the publication for which he is best known is Landscape Gardening in Japan (Kodansha International).

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