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The Lotus is the world's most iconic flower. Galvanized by receiving seeds from a three-thousand-year-old lotus, which flowered without difficulty in an English summer, the author set out to track the path of this sublime plant to its home in the Lotus-Lands of Japan. His quest, from the basement of Burlington House in Piccadilly to a mountain top in northern Japan, involved many adventures and revealed extraordinary new material.
The book touches on the lotus in ancient Egypt and India and on the plant's medicinal uses, as well as the inspiration it has provided to Western artists. Most of all, it unveils a stunning vision of Japan's feudal era, as Griffiths visits shrines, ruins, gardens and wild landscapes, and meets priests and archaeologists, philosophers and anthropologists, gardeners and botanists, poets and artists, and even dines on the lotus in a Tokyo cafe.