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Naoko Abe is touring in the US


Naoko was interviewed by Ira Flatow of NPR (National Public Radio) on April 12 in New York for the 'Science Friday' show.


NPR show with Ira Flatow

                                               With Ira Flatow in the NPR studion in New York.

            Here is a link to the interview and an excerpt from the book








Okame at Brooklyn Garden  



                 Okame at B.Botanical Garden


Okame cherry was in full blossom in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This is a variety C. Ingram created 




 Brooklyin Botanical Garden

                                   'The Sakura Obsession' on disply at Brooklyn Botanic Garden



Naoko gave a talk at the US National Arboretum in Washington DC on April 15.


Talk at National Arboretum 4.15.2019 2                       

                                Naoko talked to about 50 people--the arboretum staff and others from the US Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.






☆Evens ☆ 

Naoko will be giving a talk ' Cherry Blossom Odyssey'  at the Japan Fondation LA on April 18 at 7pm.



She will also give a lecture in Glendale, CA on Easter Sunday.  click here for details





To celebrate the publication of 'Cherry' Ingram, a book launch party was held at London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury, London on March 26th.


Book display 2
                                          'Cherry' Ingram books  at the launch.



Book Party 8
           Naoko gave a speech."This book came into the world with so many people's support", she said.



                                                 Launch crowd 2

                                                          Over 100 people attended the launch.



 Another  book launch event was held at The Daiwa Foundation in London on 22 March.


Daiwa speeech



                                                       Daiwa speech4


     Naoko spoke to a sold-out crowd of 140 guests about Ingram's life.

 Photos provided by the Daiwa Foundation.





BBC Radio 4  'Book of the Week' 18-22 March


You can still hear the 5 episodes of the book.




Reviews on the 'Cherry' Ingram book


  *The Guardian --'Cherry' Ingram by Naoko Abe review-an obsession with Japan's blossoms....by Christopher Harding    click here to contine

 The Spectator --The Englishman Who Saved Japan’s Blossoms by C  click here to continue

 The Radio Times--Flower Power-- Naoko Abe on why an Englishman had to rescue Japan's symbolic cherry blossom.   click here to continue


The Sunday Times--The man who saved spring  click here to continue 


The Times Scotland--The botanist who saves a tree--- and a nation's soul     click here to continue


The Japan Times --An homage to the British savior of Japan's cherry blossoms  click here to continue


 Daily Mail ---Glorious eccentric who made Britain Blossom---- click here to continue


The Washington Post--Yoshinos aren't the only cherry out there. It's worth knowing, and growing, the others.  by Adrian Higgins   click here to continue

The Economist--The Englishman who helped safeguard Japan's cherry trees--click here to continue    click here for page2 of the article 



Events Calendar

   Naoko Abe will talk about  'Cherry' Ingram at the following events. 


·         11th March – Words by the Water, Cumbria

·         22nd March – Daiwa Foundation London

·         24th March , 6.30-7.30pm – Glasgow Aye Write 

       ·           4th June , 6:30pm-  Garden Museum, London  .......details to be posted later

      ·            6th  June , 6:30-8pm -- John Sandoe Bookstore  



   ·    28th June – Benenden Literary Festival

·         29/30th June – Wealden Literary Festival

·          19th July – Buxton Festival



 Also, there will be the following events. 

·         7th April – Books on sale at The Grange in Kent for their open gardens event

·         20-25th May – John Sandoe’s Chelsea Flower Show Stand  (Naoko will be there for book signing)




The 'Cherry' Ingram book has been chosen as 

BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week'!


           18th -22nd March 2019  at 9:45-10 am.







The 'Cherry' Ingram book is published on 21 March.






--The British publisher,Chatto & windus, is now taking pre-orders.





The Sakura Obsession


--The American version has a different title: The Sakura Obsession  (by Knopt)










Naoko gave a lecture to a sold-out Japan Society audience on 16th April, 2018, about Collingwood Ingram. The event was held at the Swedenborg Society in London. Click here for more details. 


Naoko talked about how Collingwood Ingram fell in love with Japanese cherry blossoms and went to Japan at the beginning of the 20th century to collect different varieties. Ingram's cherry collection in his garden in Benenden, Kent, was the world's largest at the time. Naoko also discussed the history of cherry blossoms in Japan and how the blossoms were used ideologically by the military government in the 1930s and during World War II. 


Thirty-two members of the Ingram family, mostly grandchildren and great grandchildren of Collingwood Ingram and his older brother, Herbert, attended the lecture. 





Naokos speech at Japan Society 16042018

                  Naoko shows a slide of The Grange,  the former residence of Collingwood  Ingram in Benenden, Kent





 The Ingrams and Naoko 16.04.2018

                                              Naoko and the members of the Ingram family after the lecture.








 ‘Cherry Ingram’ will be published in English!


After winning the prestigious Nihon Essayist Club Award in Japan in June 2016, Naoko Abe's book 'Cherry' Ingram: The English Saviour of Japan's Cherry Blossoms, will now be  published in English. 

The English version will be an adaptation of the original book, including a lot of new material.  It will be published by Chatto and Windus, an English  imprint of Penguin Random House, in spring 2019. 

It will also be translated into German, Italian, Spanish and Polish.

The original  "'Cherry' Ingram: The English Saviour of Japan’s Cherry Blossoms", was published in Japanese in March 2016, by Iwanami Shoten, one of Japan's largest and most respected publishers.  

It won  the Nihon Essayist Club Award, a major non-fiction award in Japan.

---The award ceremony was held on 29 June, 2016 at the Japan Press Centre in Tokyo.




                          160629 授賞式でのスピーチ 002




Naoko Abe gave a speech about  'Cherry Ingram'  at the Japan National Press Club on 28 June 2016.





                        You can watch and listen to the speech on You Tube     → click here                    

                                                                  (The speech is in Japanese) 




•  The first edition of  'Cherry Ingram' has sold out and the second is now on sale.



•  'Cherry Ingram' was broadcast in Japan.

NHK, the Japanese equivalent of the BBC,  aired Naoko's book 'Cherry Ingram ' as well as Ingram's former home in Benenden, Kent and  the Taihaku cherry in full blossom  on 11 May on their BS1 channel in the programme  'Overseas report 2016'.  The Taihaku shown is the original cherry that Ingram returned  to Japan in the 1930s....   link



Naoko Abe tells the story of a self-educated Englishman whose passion for the Japanese cherry blossom saved hundreds of unique and rare varieties of this iconic flower from extinction. Based on 'Cherry' Ingram's diaries, original documents and scores of interviews, the book follows the life of a plant hunter extraordinaire and the enormous impact that his pioneering work has had on cherry blossom cultures around the world.

Collingwood Ingram also known as 'Cherry Ingram'

Naoko Abe takes the reader from Ingram's first sojourn in Japan in 1902 to an historic speech in Tokyo in 1926 exorting Japanese royalty and industry leaders to save the dying blossoms at a time of rapid modernization and westernization. Her environmental detective story describes for the first time how the blossoms survived and examines the flowers' political and cultural heritage throughout the 20th century, including their role in Japanese militarism during World War II, and the evolution of a cloned cherry that's become the global symbol of modern Japan.


Extracts from 5 reviews


(Naoko Abe's) non-fiction book depicts an Englishman who loved cherry blossoms more than we Japanese -- and gave us a stark warning (about their uncertain future). We can only appreciate the ‘Taihaku' -- the Great White cherry’ -- these days thanks to Collingwood Ingram. --- The Mainichi Shimbun (download)


This great work puts the life of the cherry saviour Collingwood Ingram into perspective。It uncovers historic facts about how modernization affected Japan and how distorted and controlled views about the ‘sakura’ were imposed on the Japanese during the war. ---  The Tokyo Shimbun (download)


A formidable book, extraordinarily well-researched, with a thick philosophical backbone that sends a powerful message ----Natsuki Ikezawa, The Shukan Bunshun (download) 


An outstanding non-fiction book that depicts the history spanning more than 100 years of sakura keepers who devoted their lives to preserving cherry blossoms in Japan and beyond --- Mr. Partner magazine (download)


Ms. Abe highlights the lament of Japan's most distinguished 'sakuramori' ('cherry blossom keeper') when he met 'Cherry' Ingram in Tokyo in 1926: "This is the cherry tree my great grandfather painted more than 130 years ago. This most beautiful variety seems to have gone extinct. I can’t find it anywhere".  --- The Asahi Shimbun (download)


 The British newspaper 'Courier' wrote about  'Cherry Ingram'  on Friday 20 May .

   ' Famous  Oriental blooms stem from Sussex survivor'

As the year's cherry blossom season in Japan flutters to an end, the story of the  Benenden expert whose passion for the flowers saved hundreds of varieties from  extinction....link




                            ......  continue to