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Zen in the Art of Flower Arrangement

The Classic account of the meaning and symbolism of the Japanese art of Ikebana

By Gustie L.Herrigel
Illustrated with sketches from Master Bokuyo Takeda

Paperback, 144pages, 19.8 × 12.9 × 1cm


“The art of flower arrangement is not, in its truest sense, an art, but rather the expression of a much deeper experience of life.”

In this companion volume to Eugen Herrigel’s classic Zen in the Art of Archery, Gustie Herrigel describes the underlying Zen symbolism in the Japanese art of flower arranging, ikebana. During the 1920’s while living in Japan, Gustie Herrigel studied ikebana under one of Japan’s greatest Masters and by the time she left Japan in 1930 she herself had become a master.

The act of training in ikebana is a process of achieving spiritual enlightenment; the craft of arranging flowers is a form of meditation. Gustie Herrigel’s account of her education in ikebana and her gradual understanding of its underlying symbolism is a story of great charm. She teaches the reader the disciplined but artfully natural style of flower arrangement, while providing a perceptive introduction to Zen.

In this beautifully written book we are introduced to the traditions of an older Japanese way of life, which has since been swept away by Western influence.

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