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|Authors||Preface: HIH Prince Akishino, Keiischi Hayashi, Martyn Rix, Masumi Yamanaka. Contributions: Hideaki Ohba, Jin Murata, Tetsuo Koyama|
|Language||English with bilingual foreword and introduction in English and Japanese|
|Publisher||Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew|
Japanese indigenous plants have fascinated botanists and horticulturalists for the past two centuries, and their discoveries still have a strong influence on the plants of today. Botanists such as Kaempfer, Thunberg, von Siebold, and Maximowicz visited Japan between the 17th and 19th centuries, and communicated and corresponded with many Japanese botanists; identifying, naming and classifying many native plants and sending specimens around the world. Many beautiful Japanese plants (e.g. Hydrangea, Lily, Hosta, Camellia) were introduced into European countries, influencing horticulture and the breeding of new varieties. And as a result, this interest in Japanese flora led to a stimulation of activity amongst botanical painters in Japan in depicting the native flora.
Flora Japonica is a beautiful celebration of modern Japanese botanical art, featuring 80 specially commissioned botanical paintings of Japanese wild plants, contributed by 34 of the country's best contemporary artists. Each paintings is accompanied by text about the plant, including its natural history as well as botanical description and details of the specimen origin. Biographies of all 30 artists are included.
An introductory chapter by Professor Hideaki Ohba (University of Tokyo) explores the history of Japanese botanical illustration, and in particular the work of the botanist and illustrator Tomitaro Makino (1862–1967).
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