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Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew Pocketbooks: Honzo Zufu

A gift-size selection of images from a rare, classic work of Japanese botanical art, gorgeously reproduced from the Library, Art and Archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
This unique pocketbook from Kew features the beautiful Japanese artwork from Honzo Zufu, a rare and valuable compendium of medicinal plants dating from the Edo period.

Compiled and published in 92 volumes between 1830 and 1844, it is the work of Tsunemasa Iwasaki, better known as Kan-en, a sobriquet that translates to “irrigation of a garden for plants”. Kan-en was a servant of the Tokugawa Shogunate, a born naturalist, and Honzo Zufu is his magnum opus, comprising annotated illustrations of some 2,920 plants. Some volumes were printed using woodblocks and hand-colored, while others are manuscripts, transcribed from the first original set by hand, and distributed one by one to subscribers. Only six original sets exist in Japan. The work held at Kew, one of the most extensive botanical libraries in the world, is also original.

Forty images selected from this unrivaled work are reproduced here along with an introduction by contemporary botanical artist Masumi Yamanaka and botanist Martyn Rix, telling the story of Honzo Zufu and the set given to Kew—making this gift book a truly singular keepsake for fans of Japanese art as well as plant lovers.

96 pages | 40 color plates | 5 1/4 x 7 1/4

Kew Pocketbooks

Art: Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Art

Biological Sciences: Botany

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