New York : Weatherhill, 1974.
LibraryThing member nandadevi
This is a beautifully illustrated, sensitive and informative book on the art and culture of kite making and flying in Japan. Streeter achieves the perfect balance of telling his own story, and the story of the people and culture he moves through. There is technical and historical information, and insights into Japanese culture and thinking, but none of it is heavy going. A note though, it is not strictly an instruction manual, although a careful reading and a bit of imagination can get you along the path to creating Japanese style kites. Streeter is an American artist, and brings his own sensibility into the story, addressing the question (without answering it) whether an outsider can ever participate in the real culture of the kite with its traditions and craftmanship. There is always a slight sense of quirkiness, and a faint scent of a quest for the smallest, largest, most beautiful kite. It is a journey that the reader is effortlessly drawn along with. This is absolutely essential reading for kite enthusiasts, and for those with an interest in Japanese culture and/or art. I suspect it would have sold a few hundred thousand more copies if it had been titled ´Zen and the art of the Japanese Kite´ - but I rather like the way it is, an unexpected and rather rare treasure of a book.