Flowers of Edo features 100 illustrations from the historical botanical art book, Honzou-zufu, and breathes new life into this book from the Edo period of Japan. Honzou-zufu, published in 1828 by Kanen Iwasaki, was the first Japanese botanical encyclopedia with colour which was valuable not only as an encyclopedia but also for its beautiful and refined drawings. It was comprised of 96 volumes and contained 2000 plants, which were sketched, coloured and classified into three different categories (mountain plants, wet plants and poisonous plants). Because most of Flowers of Edos were transcribed, many existing illustrations were low in quality. But the publisher has carefully researched and selected the best 100 illustrations from the Honzou-zufu and breathed new life into this historical botanical art book from the Edo period. To show all the illustrations without the center being folded, Flowers of Edo is designed in landscape format, enabling the illustrations to be clearly seen on a single page. Chinese, Japanese and Kampo (Chinese medicine) names are listed for each flower together with a little story about the flower's medical efficacy, origin of its name, language associations and other useful information about the flower.
Kazuhiko Tajima is the Art Director of Flowers of Edo: A Guide to Classical Japanese Flowers from PIE International.