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Contemporary Basketry with Japanese Influence

Bamboo in Japan book photoBamboo in Japan

A stunning collection of photos and essays takes readers on a complete tour of bamboo in Japan, illustrating its uses in art and architecture, textile designs, furniture, crafts, foods, gardening and the home. Nowhere is bamboo used more elegantly and distinctively than in Japan, where its presence touches every part of daily life, even reaching into language, literature and ritual. Over 250 photographs and illustrations. Hardcover, 9" x 11," 220 pages.

Go to www.amazon.com and you can read some sample pages and reviews.

Bamboo in Japan may be purchased from www.browngrotta.com

Good News -- Bamboo in Japan is still in print after 12 years.

More Good News -- My Tokyo editor, Barry Lancet, has written Japantown: A Thriller. Set in the familiar settings of Tokyo and San Francisco, it is great fun for me to visualize many of the locations. Check it out.

We have just been notified that as of the end of April 2011, Kodansha International’s operations will be terminated. Restructuring will be implemented by the parent company, Kodansha Ltd. This news was shocking to all of us and totally unexpected. My editor, Barry Lancet, called from Tokyo and said he felt Bamboo in Japan will remain in print for some time; however, I suspect that when the second printing sells out, it will go out of print. I plan to purchase a dozen copies, just in case. This would be a difficult book to self-publish as many of the photographs came from Japanese sources.

In 1996, ten years after my first trip to Japan, I presented a book proposal to Kodansha International in Tokyo. Exciting hours of library research in Japan, Honolulu and New York followed. Multiple trips back to Japan included extensive photo and interview sessions from the southern islands of Kyushu and Shikoku north to Tokyo. With the help of my Tokyo editor, Barry Lancet, and my New York City editor, Bibi Wein, Bamboo in Japan was published in 2001 and has gone to a second printing. The publication was distributed in time to accompany a touring exhibition, Bamboo in Japanese Culture, which I guest-curated with Benji Bennington at the East-West Center in Honolulu.

When I reread pages, I can still remember where and when I wrote every word. It was a satisfying five-year period, and the bamboo research, curating and writing continues.

In 2007 I completed several articles about the topics I love best – books, baskets and bamboo. Selvedge magazine invited five contributors to send an annotated list of their all-time favorite books. Read “Summer blockbusters” in Issue 18 for the results. I reviewed Elizabeth Whyte Schulze’s coiled forms for Fiberarts. Look in the Jan/Feb 2007 to read the review and see some of her fabulous work. More recently (Sept/Oct 2007), Fiberarts published my article, “Jiro Yonezawa: Tradition and Innovation.” I think Jiro’s bamboo work is among the best. I was pleased when Orientations magazine in Hong Kong asked me to review Masters of Bamboo: Artistic Lineages in the Lloyd Cotsen Japanese Basket Collection. I was lucky enough to see the exhibition installation in San Francisco which helped me approach the topic. The resulting review appeared in the April 2008 issue.

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