cloth, 223 p., $49.95
I was first struck by the sheer beauty of this volume. Its size and flamboyant cover are those of a coffee table book. Inside, every page has a wonderful picture that makes ownership of a bamboo item imperative.
The author is a basket maker, and this is primarily a craft book. The botany of bamboo is briefly discussed, but more importantly, the rich contribution of this natural material is paraded before us.
Ms. Bess introduces the broad diversity and depth of bamboo in Japanese culture, from food and food container to practice sword and bow and arrow. This expanse requires brevity on each topic. However, the superb bibliography leads one to sources for deeper study and demonstrates the depth of research behind this finely distilled work. Highly recommended.
— Michael Zubryzcki, Library Volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden