CONDER, Josiah. The Flowers of Japan and the Art of Floral Arrangement. With illustrations by Japanese artists. Tokyo, Hakubunsha / Yokohama etc., Kelly and Walsh / London, Sampson Low, Marston, & Co., 1891. 35,9 : 26,6 cm. 136 text pages with 26 b/w illustr., 14 full page colour woodblock prints by Yoshitoshi et al, 40 b/w outline plates and colour woodblock illustrated covers.
“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.” (Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library) – https://archive.org/details/flowersofjapanar00cond - (20307) - CHF 1'900