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Ikebana Book Review

“Ikebana Step-by-Step—Japanese Flower Arrangement” by Reiko Takenaka has become a classic. It is now in its 10th printing. Published by Japan Publications Trading Co., this is distributed in the U.S. by Kodansha America.

Everything that the novice floral designer needs to know can be found here. In addition, more experienced folks will also find many inspirational ideas in this volume. This reader friendly title has hundreds of lush color photos and color drawings.

Regardless of the time of year or need, you’ll find this book has inspiring examples you can use throughout the home.

One section is devoted to arrangements for special occasions, such as wedding anniversaries. The events include holidays, such as New Year’s, Christmas, and Mother’s Day as well as several important Japanese festivals. For fall, there’s a special arrangement for a moon-viewing party.

One of the author specialties is wild grasses and wild flowers. For that reason, she devotes an entire section to this subject with all sorts of special arrangements for each plant.

One section is also devoted to each room or area of the home. The locations include hallways, bathrooms, living and dining rooms, and bedrooms. Japanese rooms also receive special attention as do windowsills.

The different styles of Ikebana are given special attention. This section includes numerous variations of the three basic styles (cascading, upright, and slanting).

The main section is called Arranging Steps, and has color illustrated step by step directions for all the arrangements shown throughout the book. For each arrangement, the author gives a list of the materials and a color photo of the suggested container. With these foolproof, easy to follow instructions, anyone can learn Ikebana.

At the end of the book the author also explains all the basic techniques that are used in Ikebana. For each one she provides color illustrated step by step directions. In this section, she shows how to condition the flowers and floral materials, how to cut the materials, and the different tools and supplies needed for Ikebana. This also explains all about the preferred containers.

At the end is a complete index of all the flowers used in the arrangements.

The author is among the best known Ikebana artists. With over 40 years of experience, she has devoted her life to the art. She has given demonstrations and displays all over the world, and has received many honors for her work.

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