Naoko Abe is a Japanese journalist and non-fiction writer. She was the first female political writer to cover the prime minister?s office, the foreign ministry and the defence ministry at Mainichi Shimbun, one of Japan?s largest newspapers. Since moving to London with her British husband and their two boys in 2001, she has worked as a freelance writer and has published five books in Japanese. Her biography of Collingwood Ingram in Japanese won the prestigious Nihon Essayist Club Award in 2016. She has now written an adaptation of the book for English-language readers. She is a trained classical pianist and an advanced yoga practitioner.
Sympathetic and engrossing... a portrait of great charm and sophistication, rich in its natural and historical range, guaranteeing that you won't look at cherry blossoms the same way again -- Dr Christopher Harding * Guardian * [A] deeply moving book -- beautifully written, and a huge achievement in terms of research -- Claire Kohda Hazelton * The Spectator * Set against the narrative arc of Japanese history, journalist Naoko Abe's account of the man behind the preservation of her country's national symbol is both sympathetic and compelling... On reading this book, beautifully illustrated with atmospheric period shots and colour plates, you may well determine, as I have, to visit Japan at cherry blossom time -- Vanessa Berridge * Sunday Express * [A] lovely book... Two tensions animate this book: the difficulty of sending fragile scions around the world and successfully grafting them; and the wrenching historical context... It is hard to view the blossoms of the somei-yashino with such tender joy after reading Ms Abe's book * Economist * An engaging biography of a man who helped to change the face of spring -- Ian Critchley * Sunday Times * A page turner... Naoko Abe parallels her biography with a comprehensive history of cherries, intersected with major moments in Japanese history... There is a heartwarming end to the tale that the author spins with skill and erudition -- Tania Compton * Country Life * `Cherry' Ingram is a meticulously researched book: Abe undertook dozens of interviews with relatives of the sakuramori... [and] sifted through Ingram's extensive diaries and condenses the often impenetrable history of Japan's feudal and imperial ages -- Alice Vincent * Daily Telegraph * After reading [`Cherry' Ingram], the annual ritual of hanami (flower-viewing) will never be quite the same again... an extraordinary story -- Richard Lloyd Parry * The Times * In retelling [Ingram's] story from her own cultural perspective, Abe has produced an engaging work that adds illuminating definition to the world about which he wrote -- Jodie Jones * Gardens Illustrated * An enchanting story about an Englishman's attempts to preserve Japan's rich cherry tree heritage in the face of rapid modernization * Japan Times * An admiring and engaging portrait of an eccentric British enthusiast, one of the last great amateur naturalists of the Edwardian Era -- Laurence A. Marschall * Natural History Magazine * Remarkable... Combining vast historical research, perceptive cultural interpretation, and a gift for keen, biographical storytelling, Abe's study of one man's passion for a singular plant species celebrates the beneficial impact such enthusiasts can have on the world at large * Booklist * Lovers of the outdoors, especially gardeners, will find much to enjoy in Japanese journalist Abe's first English-language book, which won the Nihon Essayist Club Award in 2016. The author engagingly chronicles the travels and plant-collecting adventures of Collingwood Ingram... Charming * Kirkus Review * Like the sakura itself, Ms. Abe's book is a quiet pleasure -- Gerard Helferich * Wall Street Journal * A remarkable book... [ Cherry Ingram] is fascinating, a treat for gardeners, cherry-growers and historians -- Robin Lane Fox * Financial Times *