The only book on Scrolls that you will need
to learn about Japanese and Chinese Scroll Painters

On the laws of Japanese painting.
An introduction to the study of the Art of Japan

Henry Pike Bowie (1848–1921)
Published  in San Francisco: by Paul Elder & Co.,, [1911]

I have been collecting these very rare first edition of this remarkable book. Created by Henry Pike Bowie over a period of years when he studied art in Japan, this book clearly shows what scrolls mean, how certain elements of scrolls are painted and styles of illustration that determine the subject of the artist.. I first bought a reprint and thought that while the illustrations were either faded or really not clear, I was shown a first edition copy by a friend and the plates were unbelievably different. They were clear, subtle and very beautiful. No copies from the 1950's onwards come anywhere near the first edition of 1911. I then spent a long time searching through bookseller stocks until In found some remaining copies of these very rare editions. One thing I did find in the early part of my search that the booksellers were advertising first editions called Dover but these are copies from the 1950's and definitely not in the same ball park as to quality of the illustrations. The newer editions from the past 10 years and which are reprints , some are even photocopies, are sold at prices from low to very high and really many are not worth the paper they are printed on. I sell only first editions although I do stock a few of the second edition. Regarding the first editions, while most are good, some are perfect, and some very fine and unopened a small number have been restored.

Prices are based on the quality of the first edition and the highest reflects a signed original copy by the author in a specially made period kimono silk covered box.. However, all copies are in good condition. Many are with dust jackets. Some have been professionally restored.

Henry Pike Bowie was an American lawyer, artist, author, Japanologist and diplomat

In the late 1880s, Bowie commissioned Makoto Hagiwara, the designer of the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, to plan a garden and tea house for his home on the border of Hillsborough and San Mateo, California in California's San Mateo County. This Japanese garden, called "Higurashi-en" or "A garden worthy of a day's contemplation," was created between 1887 and 1892. Although it has been reduced in size to about an acre in the 21st century, it is the largest privately owned "Authentic" Japanese garden in the United States, and it is on the National Register of Historic Places. A highlight of the garden is a silvery-green, five-needled Mikado pine, which was given to Bowie by Emperor Meiji Bowie's later additions to the garden include a triple laceleaf Japanese maple and other artefacts from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915) The property was purchased by Achille and Joan Paladini of Hillsborough, CA in 1988 and restored to its original pristine condition. It was featured on the Oprah Show and has been the location for a recent movie. The director for Memoirs of a Geisha visited the property and considered it for the film.
After the death of his first wife, Bowie first visited Japan in 1893. He returned in 1894, residing with the Hirano family of Yokohama. During this period, he devoted himself to practicing his Japanese language skills, studying Japanese painting, and broadening his understanding of Japanese culture. He studied painting and, after perfecting the style, Bowie won awards for his pictures at public exhibitions, and the Japanese emperor acquired two of his painting
Bowie was a co-founder in 1905 of the Japan Society of Northern California, along with Stanford University's president, David Starr Jordan. He also served as the society's first president

In 1909, he erected a memorial gate, created by Japanese craftsmen brought from Japan specifically for the project. The memorial structure in Burlingame was designed to honor the valor of Japanese sailors and soldiers during the Russo-Japanese War (1905).
In 1918, he sailed for Japan as special emissary of the U.S. Department of State. Shortly after returning to California in 1921, he died at age 72.

His son in Japan, Imao Hirano, was a poet and worked for abolishing discrimination against mixed race children. Imao's daughter, Remi Hirano, who is known as a cooking expert in Japan, married Makoto Wada. Sho Wada, the guitarist and vocalist of Triceratops, is their son.

More information is at the foot of the page
The prices range between £40($65) and £100 ($160) There is one signed copy at £250 ($375)

Prices are based on the quality of the first edition and the highest reflects a signed original copy by the author in a specially made period kimono silk covered box.. However, all copies are in good condition. Many are with dust jackets. Some have been restored.

On the laws of Japanese painting.
An introduction to the study of the Art of Japan.
. .
With prefatory remarks by Iwaya Sazanami 

Written by  Henry P Bowie

Published  in San Francisco: by Paul Elder & Co.,, [1911]. 8vo. xv, [3], 117, [1] pp.
Tinted fonts., 65 plates. Cover cloth, gilt lettering, Dust Jacket













The prefatory remarks by Iwaya Sazanami 

Introduction First of all, I should state that in the year 1909 I accompanied the Honorable Japanese Commercial Commissioners in their visit to the various American capitals and other cities of the United States where we were met with the heartiest welcome, and for which we all felt the most profound gratitude. We were all so happy, but I was especially so indeed, it would be impossible to be more happy than I felt, and particularly was this true of one day, namely y the twenty-seventh of November of the year named, when Henry jP. Bowie, Esq., invited us to his residence in San Mateo, where we found erected by him, a Memorial Gate to commemorate our victories in the Japanese - Russian War and its dedication had been reserved for this day of our visit Suspended above the portals was a bronze tablet inscribed with letters written by my late father, Ichi Roku.

The evening of that same day we were invited by our host to a reception extended to us in San Francisco by the Japan Society of America, where I had the honor of delivering a short address on Japanese folk-lore. In adjoining halls was exhibited a large collection of Japanese writings and paintings, the latter chiefly the work of the artist, KitbotaI Beisen, while the writings were from the brush of my deceased father, between whom and Mr. Bowie there existed the relations of the warmest friendship and mutual esteem.

Two years or more have passed and I am now in receipt of information from Mr. Shimada Sekko that Mr. Bowie is about to publish a work upon the laws of Japanese painting and I am requested to write a preface to the same. I am well aware how unfitted I am for such an undertaking f but in view of all I have here related I feel I am not permitted to refuse.

Indeed, it seems to me that the art of our country has for many years past been introduced to the public of Europe and America in all sorts of ways  and hundreds of books about Japanese art have appeared in several foreign languages but I have been privately alarmed for the reason that a great many such books contain either superficial observations made during sightseeing sojourns of six months or a year in our country or are but hasty commentaries. compilations of extracts or references  chosen here and there from other Introduction volumes. AII work of this kind must be considered extremely superficial.

But Mr. Bowie has resided many years in Japan. He thoroughly understands our institutions and national life he is accustomed to our ways, and is duly conversant with our language and literature, and he understands both our arts of writing and painting. Indeed I feel he knows about such matters more than many of my own countrymen added to this, his taste is instinctively well adapted to the Oriental atmosphere of thought and is in harmony with Japanese ideals. And it is he who is the author of the present volume.

To others a labor of the kind would be very great Mr. Bowie it is a work of no such difficulty, and it must surely prove a source of priceless instruction not only to Europeans and Americans, but to my own countrymen, who will learn not a little from it. Ah, how fortunate do we feel it to be that such a book will appear in lands so far removed from our native shores.

Now that I learn that Mr. Bowie has written this book the happiness of two years ago is again renewed, and from this far-off country I offer him. my warmest congratulations, with the confident hope that his work will prove fruitfully effective...

 Iwaya Sazanami

Henry Pike Bowie:


Hillsborough is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hillsborough is one of the wealthiest communities in America and has the highest income of places in the United States with populations of at least 10,000. It is located 17 miles (27 km) south of San Francisco on the San Francisco Peninsula, bordered by Burlingame to the north, San Mateo to the east, Highlands-Baywood Park to the south, and Interstate 280 to the west. The population was 11,273 as of 2013. The town is served by Hillsborough City School District.

Hillsborough's landscape is dominated by large homes; the town zoning and subdivision ordinances require a 2,500-square-foot (230 m) minimum house size and minimum lot size of 0.5 acres (2,000 m). As a result, there are no apartments, condominiums or townhouses in the city limits; however, it is not unusual for the homes along the eastern edge of Hillsborough to face condominiums in neighbouring Burlingame, sharing the ZIP code 94010.

The town has no commercial zoning and thus no businesses within the town limits; the only non-residential properties are the town's four public and three private schools, town and county government facilities, a golf course, a country club, and a small park.

There is also another garden started by Henry Pike Bowie. Now called
"Garden Worthy of a Days Contemplation"

Garden Images: click for a larger images

"Garden Worthy of a Days Contemplation"

This authentic historic Oriental garden and tea house was first developed in the 1880's by Peninsula pioneer Henry Bowie. The property later became part of the Eugene de Sabla estate. Joan and Achille Paladini, current owners, have restored the garden and tea house and have had it placed on the "National Register for Historic Places" so that future generations will be able to enjoy this treasure and symbol of friendship between the United States of America and Japan.

Plaque dedicated 28 July 1993
County of San Mateo Historic resources Advisory Board
De Sabla, Eugene J., Jr., Teahouse and Tea Garden ~ San Mateo, California
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member brwhiz
N 37° 33.878 W 122° 19.872
10S E 559064 N 4157722
Quick Description: The de Sabla Teahouse and Garden was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 30, 1992.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 1/29/2013 1:13:51 PM
Waymark Code: WMG8N2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill

Notes on house and garden:

The Eugene de Sabla, Jr. teahouse and tea garden is located on the north side of de Sabla Road which was the original entrance drive to the de Sabla estate. The district contains a c. 1909 one story frame teahouse constructed in a Japanese farmhouse style with wooden shingle double roof, tokonoma and veranda. The teahouse is located on the west side of the garden and is carefully integrated into a c. 1947 one and two story frame addition which transformed it into a residence. The c. 1906 tea garden is a "Shin" elaborate style of hill garden surrounded by a "looking through" bamboo fence with roof gateway. The approximately one acre garden contains waterfalls and nine objects including lanterns, a tsukabai, a stone Buddha and a bridge.

At the southeast corner of the building is a small, non-contributing one story frame garage constructed in 1947. Despite the additions to the original teahouse and gardens, the district is in excellent condition overall, and retains integrity in location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association as a Japanese-style building and historic landscape. The teahouse is a one story, frame Sen no Rokyu style chashitsu (teahouse) , with a Japanese farmhouse style wooden shingle double roof, tokonoma and veranda. Rokyu style teahouses are intended to be in the style of a simple farm dwelling. The reflection pool setting of the teahouse closely resembles the setting of the Katsura Detached Palace in Kyoto, Japan. The walls and ceiling are finished with white plaster and exposed finished wood beams. Across the front of the teahouse facing the garden are two large shoji style doors with delicate wooden shoji style transom panels which extend across the front of the building and part way into the building at either corner. The shoji doors leading to the garden would never be open during the tea ceremony, as stated in early tea books. "(T)he guests ought not to be distracted by the garden so that they can devote themselves wholeheartedly to the Chanoyu (tea ceremony) and to the appreciation of the meibutsu (tea utensils)." The shoji were primarily for ventilation and light control. Two more shoji doors, which have been removed but are still in the possession of the owner, were once located below these corner spaces. These transom panels and doors were once covered on the exterior with paper. These doors remain unchanged. At the edge of the veranda are now sliding glass doors which protect the original doors and veranda of the building. These outer doors, which were originally wood, were added in 1947. In the northwest corner of the building is the Tokonoma, or alcove for display of the scroll, incense, and flower arrangement. An unfinished limb supports the Tokonoma. The floors, it is believed, were originally covered with tatami, but now have bare wood which is the condition in which they were found by the existing owner.

The building is attached on either side by one-story and two-story additions carefully added in 1947. The 625 square foot additions were made by Eri Richardson, an Army major and part-time house designer, after careful research in Japanese architecture source books. The additions include a one-story living room addition to the south of the teahouse and a two-story frame residence on the north side of the teahouse. An original doorway on the north side of the teahouse was used to connect the two story addition. On the south side of the tea house there is a low stone alcove between the tea house and the one-story addition which preserves the action of stepping into the teahouse and preserves it as a separate unit of space. Thus, while the building has been altered rather substantially, it has been changed in a sympathetic manner and still is capable of making a contribution to the overall significance of the garden. The teahouse is centred in the roji (garden) with a winding path leading to the teahouse. The purpose of the tea garden was to allow participants of the tea ceremony to "enter into a state of purification before the tea ceremony and empty the mind of distractions.... commune with the inner spirit of the world." The garden is a "Shin" , or elaborate style of hill garden. The design was first published in an 1828 manual for garden makers, Tsukiyama Teizo-Den, written by Akizato Rito and published in Tokyo.

The de Sabla garden is named Higurashi-En, the Garden Worthy of a Day of Contemplation. It closely follows the plan published in the manual. The book was still being used when Makota Hagiwara designed this garden in c. 1906. A "shin" style hill garden contains several essential elements, all of which are represented in the de Sabla garden. These elements are the sacred island, the guardian stone, the stone of worship, the principal tree, tree of the setting sun, view perfecting tree, tree of solitude, tree of the distancing pine, cascade screening tree, keystones set at important viewing stations, stone lanterns and bridges. It is also imperative that a tea garden contain a "dewy path" leading to the tea garden and a tsukabai (stone wash basin for purification before the tea ceremony) . Although small portions of the garden were changed or removed during the 1947 building additions, the basic form of the garden remains unchanged. The integrity of the original design and planting materials is due to careful gardening by a limited number of committed individuals over seventy years.

The site furnishings consist of various original small stone objects such as Buddhas and lanterns. Two new cast iron cranes closely resembling those originally located in the Pan Pacific International Exposition Garden are located on the island. The Garden After Eugene de Sabla, Jr., sold the property in 1919, the Japanese gardens were cared for by Harold Peterson, the gardener of the St. Cyr Estate for twenty years. Beginning in 1947 and continuing until the present, two generations of the Obata family have cared for the garden. Unfortunately there is no known documentation of the process used for constructing the garden. It is known that Hagiwara, working with other gardeners, constructed the hills in the garden by carting in dirt and volcanic rock from Mt - Lassen. There are also other pieces of volcanic rock which are believed to be from Japan. According to the 1914 House Beautiful article, "Before the Japanese gardeners started on this beauty spot it was perfectly flat, like the rest of the highly developed grounds. But in all typical gardens...there is a little cascade or waterfall and this in turn necessitates a hillside, down which a tiny streamlet may meander. It took hundreds of tons of dirt and rock to provide a pretty background for the De Sabla Japanese garden..... the ingenious Japanese landscape artists found it.

Comparatively easy to prepare a Japanese garden which, in detail, surpasses anything I have seen in California." The gardeners were able to take advantage of the specimen trees and mature growth planted by John McLaren on the estate twenty five years earlier. These included a Spanish fir, Canary Island pines, an atlas cedar and a deodar cedar, a Himalayan spruce and Douglas firs. Also used were several of the same plants used in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate park, such as the Hinoki cypress, the Hiba arborvitae and camellias. The source of a very old Gingko tree measuring one and a half feet in girth is unknown. The garden is entered through a rojii (gate of wood and bamboo with a shallow wood shingled gable roof which still serves as the main entrance to both the garden and house today.

In 1914 a walk through the garden was described as follows: "From the moment you enter the high gateway, flanked on each side by wings that join the rustic fence, you find a wealth of charming detail introduced in the pretty garden. Every little nook and corner contains some pleasant surprise. From the tea-house you note to the left a substantial yet artistic bridge, then a hillside pathway, marked with irregular flat stones that serve as steps, leading past a beautiful stone lantern to a fragile bamboo fence and fringe of pines and wide-spreading oaks. You see delicate shrubs sprouting from rocky crevices, and little trees, twisted into most impossible curves and angles, jut from the banks of the lake. Strange little creeping vines and wild flowers seek the edge of the water, and if you will walk past the waterfall to the farther end of the garden, you will find several small lotus ponds filled with floating pads and blossoms. Beyond is a wonderful bed of iris surrounded by a wild tangle of verdant shrubs and native trees." (House Beautiful) The configuration of the garden has changed little except for some very small portions which are now part of adjacent properties and no longer retain integrity.

In 1947 a banked, one and a half story frame garage with sleeping quarters was carefully placed inconspicuously in the northwest corner of the garden. Shrubbery has substantially concealed this non-contributing building.

News: A remarkable Edo period fourfold
screen has recently become available
from a collection in Spain-
Click this section

See the wonderful collection of antique Chinese Bulb Pots here

Oshidori-Mandarin Ducks form part of our three water bird sections


I have put together some notes for you gleaned from research in many places:

Would you like to read about how scrolls are made and how Scroll Boxes are made?

Here are the links on this website

Scroll Boxes

Scroll History

Scroll Making Introduction

Scroll Making Advanced

Scroll Artists