New Wives Tales—Discovering an Excellent Feng Shui Book

Grace Ho, the Japanese wife of a Chinese businessman, is an author I’ve recently discovered. I just got her book One Minute Feng Shui for Prosperity and I’m now a big fan. It was published in 2010 by a small California publisher, so it slipped beneath my radar—until I saw it in the feng shui section at Big Island BookBuyers in Hilo. It’s primarily Compass School, but I’ve learned that those kinds of books usually have a ton of information that has nothing to do with a compass—and just so with this book. Ho suggests going to each corner of each room of your space and saying, “Thank you, I love you.” (She recommends doing that in hotel rooms also.) I’ve never before heard of doing that, but it instantly felt right.

An example of noren, above a bath house entryway in Japan. Photo by udono via Wikimedia.

An example of noren, above a bath house entryway in Japan. Photo by udono via Wikimedia.

So much of Ho’s book feels right. I often recommend noren (the short, slitted Japanese curtains) and this is the first feng shui book where I’ve seen them recommended—to hide items in lower cabinets that don’t have a cabinet door. She does not believe in what she calls “feng shui novelties”—such as three-legged frogs with coins in their mouths, etc., saying, “…it is not the consumer who bought these novelties [who] becomes rich, but it is the salesman who makes money from the consumers.”

One of the most likeable things about Grace Ho is her refreshingly gracious attitude toward other schools of feng shui. Some authors are very deprecating when discussing other schools, but Grace lives up to her name. It’s also refreshing to see the Japanese name included for things such as bagua mirror (Hakke-kyo) and Black Tortoise (Gen-Bu). She also shows a correct yin/yang symbol and explains how it differs from incorrect representations—very helpful!

Likewise helpful is her motto—“There is always a solution.” She demonstrates her practicality by listing the best Compass School directions for placing the head of your bed (referred to as pillow direction). She lists: First Best, Second Best, Third Best, and Fourth Best. It’s obvious that her advice is grounded in real-world experience where people have limited options. Another example of her practicality is the fabulous index. A good index should serve as an entry point into the book and hers does just that.

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