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  Temari Books in English           

         With the integration of personal computing into our lives as it is now versus ten or more years ago, it's redundant to create a comprehensive listing of temari books in English. A search on any online bookseller will yield more current results than can be maintained here. There is not the difficulty in identifying them as there is the Japanese books. This is only a partial rundown and my thoughts and experience with some of them. (I have no vested interest with any of these authors).

        English language books about Temari first began appearing back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This was also before there were connections to the JTA and traditional teachings, and everyone was pretty much making it up as they went along and figured things out, as there was no other option. Therefore, these books tend to represent the author's interpretation of working temari rather than authentic lessons (that's not being critical - these folks put a great deal of effort into figuring things out and interpreting, and it's how many of us got our starts). Readers need to understand and remember that for the most part the terminology is not accurate and authentic to Japanese teachings. HOW to execute the procedures is overall fine, but don't latch on to terms and titles as being the traditional teachings (which have now taken their place as the vernacular of discussion). Even in recently published sources, be careful as to the vocabulary being used; is it accurate to the Japanese teachings, or is it the author's version?

        My early and still favorite English reference is Mary Wood's The Craft of Temari. Her instructions are clear and understandable. While not completely accurate in terminology, she wasn't too far off. Most importantly, Wood teaches by technique rather than project, so it's a well-grounded knowledge base after you have worked through her book. She shows multiple examples of the stitch being used in designs. You can then take these methods and stitches and go on to create your own designs, having seen how they interact with each other. Most other authors present a stitch or style under their own project name. This can be very confusing since the beginning stitcher has no clue if this is a stitch, a traditional design, or an original contemporary composition. More than a few TalkTemari discussions were spinning off into confusion because some people learned, for example, Jyouge Douji, from one author whose project was called "This"; others learned it from a different author whose project called it "That", and yet others learned it as "Something Else".  When we began to interact with Japanese mentors,it was even more confusing. Stitches are stitches, projects/patterns are projects/patterns, and Mary Wood adheres to this. The book is out of print but can usually be found on the secondary market.

        Diana Vandervoort is perhaps the most well-known English language author. Her works include Temari, Temari Traditions, Temari Treasures, Temari Adventures, and Temari Gifts.  Temari, Temari Traditions and Temari Gifts will lead you through the basic methods and stitches. The other two volumes tend to track off of the temari theme a bit, but these three are comprehensive to the subject. Of all of these authors, Diana takes the learner through to some more intermediate-advanced designs. She is an experienced teacher and writer and pays great attention to detail. They and a companion video to her early books are all still available.

        The Temari Book by Anna Diamond was perhaps the first to be published. Diamond learned temari in Indonesia and as such the presentation is on a bit of a different path, which does not easily integrate into where things are today. There are also, sadly, numerous errors in the pattern designs that can be confusing. Diamond also published A Book of Baubles, which was essentially the first edition of The Temari Book. Margaret Ludlow's Temari - A Traditional Japanese Embroidery Technique is overall not too bad. This book always brings a chuckle to some of us, since in teaching how to make a mari, she includes how many pairs of tights (stockings) are needed for the core of a particular sized mari. The Simple Art of Japanese Temari by Dominique Herve and Alban Negaret has left most of us scratching our heads. Sadly, there are numerous errors in it; photos showing how to make a mari are sorely lacking in neatness and completion. Seemingly Japanese names are applied to stitches and designs that are either not anywhere close or outright wrong (such as "hoshi" for a square); other terminology is invented for this book.
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