am 5. Oktober 1997
Do you believe textbooks can't show any personality? Are you convinced reference books can't be beautiful or poetic? WRONG!!! I studied with Kiiko for a little over three years, and this book has all her attributes. It is beautifully organized and arranged, elegantly researched and argued, wide-ranging in its interests and as beautiful as any Japanese Ikebana. Everything in this volume is carefully conceived and executed, from the layout and design (even the paper is special--handle it and you'll see what I mean) to the extraordinary, handsome illustrations, to the extensive and very helpful bibliographies. They all reflect Kiiko herself and her attitude that everything in life should be done with complete attention, total organization, creativity and a sense of whimsy. If you look carefully, with an open mind, you may also notice that, when carefully considered, some of the ancient theories--when graphed--actually yield an illustration that looks startlingly like certain Western scientfic representations! (I won't spoil your fun by naming them here.) And for those of you who'd like a general summary of the text, it covers the development of acupuncture theory in Japan, the Hara (stomach palpation) diagnosis of the title, general summaries of the work of Kiiko's major teachers (including the extraordinary Dr. Manaka), and even a section on So Tai Ho, the Japanese form closely akin to chiropractic that uses gentle movements coordinated with breathing exercise to achieve pain relief and sometimes a much deeper level of healing. To top it all off, the illustrations intended to help practitioners are clear, as are the instructions. All in all, a beautiful, instructive volume. I loved it, even when I had to use it as a text in acupuncture school--and that's saying something! Whoever heard of someone loving their textbook?!!