Visiting Japanese Gardens This article is the first in a multi-part series by Koichi Kobayashi, a Seattle-based landscape architect and an affiliate professor of. The David G. Porter Memorial. Japanese Garden is described by its designer, Landscape Architect. Christopher Campbell, as "the Great within the Small". PDF | On Jan 1, , Wybe Kuitert and others published Gardens in Japan.
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Seisui-Tei, “Garden of Pure Water”, is a traditional Zen garden where the That is, the elements of the garden are meant to evoke one's creative process. Many Japanese garden students and enthusiasts from the United States seek create, maintain and even just appreciate traditional Japanese gardens takes a. GARDEN DESIGN. ABSTRACT. We present an investigation into the relation between design princi- ples in Japanese gardens, and their associated perceptual.
Harini Murali. Show More. No Downloads. Views Total views. Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Japanese gardens 1.
These ever-present mountains and oceans are reduced to two of the primary and enduring components of the Japanese Garden — rocks and water. In traditional Japanese gardens these elements has been created in miniature forms, often in a highly abstract and stylized way.
Japanese Garden Design for the 21 st Century
Spirit of Japanese Garden -Nature is the ideal in Japanese gardens. They idealize it, even symbolize it, but never create something that nature itself cannot. From ancient times to the present, living in harmony with nature has reflected the in Japanese gardens as per seasons. A traditional garden will usually have an irregular-shaped pond, or, in larger gardens, two or more ponds connected by a channel or stream, and a cascade, a miniature version of Japan's famous mountain waterfalls.
Buddhism was officially installed from China, via Korea, into Japan. Japanese gardens were influenced by the Chinese philosophy of Daoism, and Amida Buddhism, imported from China in or around A.
Daoist legends spoke of five mountainous islands inhabited by the Eight Immortals, who lived in perfect harmony with nature.
Each Immortal flew from his mountain home on the back of a crane. The islands themselves were located on the back of an enormous sea turtle. In Japan, the five islands of the Chinese legend became one island, called Horai- zen, or Mount Horai. Replicas of this legendary mountain, the symbol of a perfect world, are a common feature of Japanese gardens, as are rocks representing turtles and cranes of the Chinese gardens, but gradually Japanese garden designers began to develop their own aesthetics, based on Japanese materials and Japanese culture.
By the Edo period, the Japanese garden had its own distinct appearance Since the end of the 19th century, Japanese gardens have also been adapted to Western settings Japanese gardens also were strongly influenced 4. An island in Koraku-engardens, Tokyo 5. Note the three-rock composition in the center. Bridges could be made of stone ishibashi , or of wood, or made of logs with earth on top, covered with moss dobashi ; they could be either arched soribashi or flat hirabashi. Bridges can be painted red if it is used for temple garden, as per Chinese tradition.
During the Edo period, when large promenade gardens became popular, streams and winding paths were constructed, with a series of bridges, to take visitors on a tour of the scenic views of the garden. Rustic bridge at Tensha-en garden in Uwajima 8. The segments express the idea that after death our physical bodies will go back to their original, elemental form.
Stone water basins, tsukubai were originally placed in gardens for visitors to wash their hands and mouth before the tea ceremony. The water is provided to the basin by a bamboo pipe and they usually have a wooden ladle for drinking the water.
As the bamboo tube fills with water, it clacks against a stone, empties, then fills with water again. Some plants are chosen for their religious symbolism, such as the lotus, sacred in Buddhist teachings, or the pine, which represents longevity.
Some basic principles are: Miniaturization - The Japanese garden is a miniature and idealized view of nature. Rocks can represent mountains, and ponds can represent seas. Concealment - 'hiding and revealing. Features are hidden behind hills, trees groves or bamboo, walls or structures, to be discovered when the visitor follows the winding path. This makes the garden seem larger than it really is.
Buildings and garden features are usually placed to be seen from a diagonal, and are carefully composed into scenes that contrast right angles, such as buildings with natural features, and vertical features, such as rocks, bamboo or trees, with horizontal features, such as water. According to garden historians David and Michigo Young, at the heart of the Japanese garden is the principle that a garden is a work of art.
Today there are several styles in Japanese gardens as per function — 1. These gardens had large lakes with small islands, where musicians played during festivals and ceremonies. Together, the waterfall and brook form a natural landscape that is a miniature depiction of the outlying mountain valleys of Kyoto romanticized in the past. The construction of the waterfall used new methods that are different from traditional approaches. The design of the pond was influenced by Rinpa, the art of Ogata Korin, a well-known painter of screens of the Edo period.
The akamatsu-bayashi red-pine forest was planted to showcase the friendly presence of red pines and the beautiful positive and negative space created by the their shapes, lines, and alignment. The planting also takes care to give the observer a sense that the trees could be found in a natural forest. Finally, the nosuji stream cutting through hills and plains is a simple but relaxing area, and a common element in traditional landscape gardening.
These elements were drawn from traditions of expert artisans since the time of the Heian-kyo and invite the visitor into its imaginative world. Along with antiquity, Suzaku-no-Niwa also creates a new and unique escape inside urban Kyoto filled with natural beauty.
Today, a thousand years of Japanese history can be witnessed within the temple that is home to many national treasures, including the seated figure of the Amida Buddha. The villa originally belonged to Lord Fujiwara-no- Michinaga in , the end of the Heian-period. These temples were often built near the numerous rivers and springs found in Japan to provide aesthetic scenery and a source for the pond.
Its original composition had somewhat faded, but after the end of Pacific War it underwent large-scale repairs. In order to connect the new gallery with the rest of the existing temple ground without contrast, a new but complementing landscape was constructed around the gallery. Hedging and ornamental rocks were used to tie together the existing greenery and the new landscaping. The incorporation of an enclosed space into the overall design of a stroll garden is an exciting evolution in Japanese gardening.
In recent years, in addition to the post-WWII repairs, a young generation of garden designers has restored the pond and its shoreline to the original Heian period layout.
Tadashi Kubo, professor of landscape architecture at Osaka who was an early pioneer in uniting the Japanese gardening world of Japan with the U. Construction of the gardens was lead by his students Masami Sugimoto, Yoshishige Fujita, and Isao Nakase, and even today, his legacy continues to flourish through his students all over Japan and North America. I was fortunate to get to know the professor through Garrett Eckbo, a former student of both his and mine.
The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden covers 3. Its design intends to symbolize friendship yuko between Canada and Japan with the mix of styles merged with the hardy landscape of Alberta.
Components of the garden include a pond fed by a stream and waterfall on a hill, a middle island nakashima , Zen-style dry garden kare-sansui , and a flat garden hira-niwa with five distinct forms.
Most building structures in the garden were originally built in Japan and then rebuilt at the site. With the help of Kurt Steiner, the manager of the Lethbridge Travel and Convention Bureau, the city council approved the construction of the garden in , and it was completed in The university approved this garden in to commemorate its first graduate of Japanese descent in , Yuichi Kurimoto, whose family also assisted in the construction of the botanical garden.
The stroll garden is spread out over 5 acres and reflects the openness of the north-central Alberta landscape.
Some of the forest, hill, stream and lake elements that make up the surroundin g environment were intentionally retained and combined with traditional Japanese design elements including stone lanterns and pagodas, a wooden gate, an azumaya gazebo, and a viewing pavilion. As a result, the garden is not just beautiful, but meditative as well. Nitobe Memorial Garden, Vancouver, B. Inazo Nitobe who died while visiting the city in Nitobe was dedicated to building bridges between North America and Asia through education and diplomacy, and among many memorials to his life is his portrait on the Japanese 5, yen note.
After his death, friends of his in Canada built a small garden surrounding a stone lantern on the University of British Columbia campus UBC.
With the assistance of local Japanese Canadian gardeners, construction of a 2. The stroll path meanders along the periphery of a long and narrow pond that cuts through the center of the garden. There are also many ornamental stones throughout the garden. The Urasenke tea school performs ceremonies in a teahouse isolated by hedges on east side of the garden.
After an in-depth tour of the site, Mr. Sumi impressed me by both his generosity and his excellent workmanship. Until the project, gardeners from the Japanese Canadian Nikkei community had not actively supported renovations of Nitobe. One concern was their reluctance to modify the original garden design. Even now, a major problem that overshadows the upkeep and repair of Japanese gardens outside of Japan is the similar lack of active support from Nikkei communities.
The construction of both the Nitobe Memorial Garden and the Seattle Japanese Garden occurred around the same time allowing for collaboration between the two designers, Professor Mori and Juki Iida, and it is likely that this camaraderie enhanced the final products.
However, it feels far removed from the hustle-bustle of the city that surrounds it, and remains the quintessential Edo-period feudal-stroll garden. There were few others besides myself to witness the surreal early morning scene of a mist-covered landscape beneath the endless drizzle. The modern-day center of Japanese gardening is, of course, Kyoto. However, during the Edo-period samurai estates and their adjoining gardens accounted for sixty-percent of the property within the city of Edo, or present day Tokyo.
Construction on the garden started in and took eight years to complete. Fires repeatedly destroyed the large feudal estates and gardens of Edo; nevertheless, they continued to be a necessary part of the behind-the-scenes venue for feudal social life. Feudal lords hosted parties, tea ceremonies, archery events, and equine sports in their gardens just as sporting events are held today.
Throughout history, the compositions of gardens in Japan have often been based on motifs from Eastern religions such as the mythological holy mountains of Horai-Shinsen and Shumi-Sen from Buddhism and Taoism.
The feudal garden was no exception, though a separate design concept evolved to tastefully combine many different and sometimes contrasting scenes within its expanse.
One method used by designers was to physically reproduce famous Japanese landmarks and scenes from literature in their gardens. The use of light and dark rock in Rikugi-en is an example. When the garden was constructed a large pond was dug in the middle of site. Two teahouses in Rikugi-en, Shinsen-tei and Shinshun-tei, are currently used for tea ceremony, which I had a chance to witness during my last visit. In the later part of the 19th century the garden came into the hands of a wealthy merchant by the name of Yataro Iwasaki.
Kiyoshi Inoshita, the designer of the Seattle Japanese Garden along with Juki Iida, directed maintenance of Rikugi-en for the Tokyo Parks Department from after it was opened to the public. Before that, he worked to preserve the former stroll garden of the Matsumae clan in Tokyo, which was similar to but less magnificent than Rikugi-en. Unfortunately, the Matsumae garden no longer exists today but there is little doubt that along with Rikugi-en, it also was one of the original design concepts for the Seattle Japanese Garden.
It is spread out over 17 acres and includes an expansive Japanese stroll garden and a relaxing museum that beautifully combines the indoor and outdoor spaces of the building and the garden.
About years ago, a group of 20 Japanese artists seek- ing a new life in South Florida formed an agricultural commune called the Yamato Colony. Morikami, the last remaining member of the colony, was able to maintain his acre property despite the harsh environment and weather. In , the current museum was completed and includes exhibits on the Yamato Colony, Japanese arts and crafts, and items unique to Japanese lifestyle and culture.
In addition to the permanent displays at the museum, visitors can experience Japanese culture through seasonal hands on activities. The Morikami Museum is possibly the largest museum outside of Japan with an exclusive Japanese theme. The garden at Morikami Garden combines various sub-gardens of different styles into a large stroll around a central and expansive pond. They include a Shinden expansive aristocratic estates of the Heian-period built over ponds and islands garden, a Jodo Buddhist representation of Pure Land, paradise garden, a dry-rock sekitei garden, a flat hira- niwa garden, and a modern-natural garden.
By utilizing a distinct South Florida expression, the garden is able to incorporate all of these various classical styles without simply copying components from historic gardens in Japan. However, the garden designers are careful to use native-tropical plants in a way to convey the sense of being in a Japanese garden.
Kurisu for the project. The displays at the Morikami Museum along with the pine and bam- boo forests, and the lake and waterfall of its stroll garden reflect the endurance of the Japanese-immigrant community in Florida over the past century.
At the main entrance of the garden is a wooden torii gate constructed using the tongue and groove method without nails.
Following a layout common in many stroll-gardens, the path forks just after entering the gate, starting a loop that winds throughout Osaka Garden. The path is connected to the small nakashima center-island by a series of stepping-stones across the pond. A crescent-shaped moon bridge connects the nakashima to a small peninsula that partially encloses the rest of the pond from the lagoon. The peninsula is near a kameshima turtle-island , and is also a good place to stop and take in the view of a large, cascading waterfall on the island side of the pond.
The view from the inside path near the waterfall looks out over the pond to the moon bridge, continuing on across the lagoon to the Museum in the distance. Many Japanese gardens built in North America started with local grassroots interest and then became realities through cooperation with governmental authorities and organizations in Japan. For example, the creation of the Seattle Japanese Garden was facilitated by the goodwill of the Government of Japan and the City of Tokyo, which helped to recruit designers for the project.
The construction of the Osaka Garden was made possible through similar cooperation with Japan and the City of Osaka. The pavilion was very popular and even influenced the later works of Chicago landscape architect John Robinson, and the prairie-style of Frank Lloyd Wright, which was used for a number of the hotels he designed in Japan.
The Phoenix Pavilion underwent restoration and a formal Japanese stroll garden was added to the site to prepare for the World Industrial Exposition in Paintings from that time show construction of the present peninsula, nakashima, moon bridge, waterfall, and a path leading from the pavilion to the pond.
Formal tea ceremony groups used the teahouse until when the Phoenix Pavilion along with the rest of the garden was destroyed by fire. Today, only a Kasuga-style stone lantern remains in its original place from pre-fire construction.
Between and , the parks department of Chicago made large-scale repairs on the garden, which included expanding the pond, cleaning the waterfall, and building a new Moon Bridge. A gazebo with a traditional Japanese Irimoya-style, gabled and hipped, roof was built at the site of the former teahouse, which was not restored because the wreckage was deemed too unsafe. Kaneji Domoto, a garden designer from Japan, also did the new rockwork for the waterfall under the supervision of the parks department.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Chicago-Osaka sister city relationship in , Chicago renamed the garden to Osaka Japanese Garden. At that time, my company, Kobayashi and Associates, was hired to guide the addition of a new torii gate and fencing to the northeast entrance, replacement of existing trees, and maintenance to the garden paths.
In , the garden underwent its most recent renovation lead by Sadafumi Uchiyama, a Japanese garden expert and designer from Oregon that focused on renovations to the pond shore and the long awaited expansion and repair of the waterfall.
Ever since the establishment of the villa, its residents have long cherished the views of the Kyoto basin and the distant mountains, including the famous the peaks of Mt.
Hiei to the east, and Mt. Atago to the west. Toshito subsequently passed the estate on to his son, Prince Tomotada. Prince Toshihitos fondness for classical literature, the visual arts, tea ceremony, architecture, and garden design influenced the design and composition of the villa. For example, there are landforms within the garden that portray scenes from the Japanese literary classic Tale of the Genji. Around Konchi-in Suden, the chief priest of the head temple of the Rinzai-sect of Zen Buddhism, Nanzen-ji, described his visit to Katsura Imperial Villa in a writing entitled Katsura-teiki.
He was likely at the Shoka-tei gazebo on the highest point of the garden when he made this observation. Starting around , the Edo-Shogun government took charge of large-scale maintenance, repair, and renovation of the estate.
The main goal in a Japanese garden is to model nature in a limited and controlled manner. Trademarks of this at Katsura include using straight-cut granite slabs as bridges between islands, boat-launches, and embankments.
Similar elements have been widely duplicated in many other gardens in Japan and the world, including the Seattle Japanese Garden. A dense forest presently surrounds the villa, which partly obstructs outside views.
The forest probably did not exist at the time of the original construction and might have been planted after Kyoto was hit by a large typhoon in While I was a student at Kyoto University, I spent many weeks at the villa studying the forest as part of an effort to develop a maintenance program to prevent overgrowth. Only a group of 15 visitors is allowed in each hour and spaces fill up fast on any given day.
Even if a reservation can be made the visitor is limited to that hour to enjoy the grounds while being escorted at all times by security guards and official guides.
Despite the restrictions, the beauty of the villa is worth the trouble and is almost too much for one person to take in. Since construction finished in , the garden has inspired academic research among Japanese garden scholars, and could probably earn a place on the National Historic Registry today.
The following series of articles will look at the origins of the Seattle Japanese Garden and the motifs that were adapted from important gardens in Japan.
Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers
The series will end with a discussion about the future direction of the Seattle Japanese Garden, and highlight other influential Japanese-style gardens in North America and the world The Seattle Japanese garden is three-and-a-half acres with the basic framework of a formal shin-style stroll-garden of the type built during the Momoyama late 16th century and early Edo early 17th century Periods in Japan.
The aim of this style is to create the illusion of several landscapes within a single garden space that appear and disappear along the path.
The flow of water, which originates at the high mountain ranges, transforms itself as it continues its way through the landscape; first it turns into a waterfall, then into a stream, washing the bank by a teahouse, and finally becomes a lake. The water then reaches a village, symbolically represented by cherry tree grove, iris paddies, and a moon-viewing platform.
At the end of the lake is a stone paved boat launch, which represents a fishing village. There, the water disappears from sight, leaving the expectation that it will be joining the greater ocean. The southern end of the garden is an open woodland and mixed forest planted with a variety of trees and shrubs used in traditional Japanesegardens such as pines, maples, gingko, and bamboo. The designers also utilized native Northwest plants including cedars, firs, rhododendrons, and azaleas. Heading north, the woodlands morph into mountains and a stream originates from a series of waterfalls on the hillside.
A Korean-style pagoda sits on the western hilltop, and a tea garden appears after traversing the mountain path. The stream continues beyond the hills feeding a lake lined with shore pines, willows, birches, and deciduous shrubs. Koi, colorful Japanese carp, thrive in the lake, along with amphibians, and a great blue heron. Jutting out into the lake from the southwest shore is a pebble promontory, topped with a stone lantern.
An island is in the middle of the lake planted with pines and con- nected to the lakeshore by two wooden bridges. To the north, the fishing village and boat lunch are more geometric in contrast to the woodland and mountainous areas. The island, bridges, and the features of the shore together symbolize the scene of Amano- Hashidate, a famous area along the Sea of Japan comprised of a sandpit resembling a bridgeover the sky.
The view south from the boat launch produces the island and the distant mountains beyond the teahouse, and to the west is the cherry tree orchard covering a grassy hill. Species of maple, pine, bamboo, cherry and plum trees, along with moss ground covers, irises and water lilies predominate in the lake area. Kasuga-style lanterns mark divergences in the path; these types of lanterns often mark the entrances of many important Shinto shrines.
The initial movement to create a Japanese garden in Seattle began in , when the Alaska Yukon Exhibition was held. A Japanese Pavilion with an accompanying garden was built for the fair, which ignited regional interest and excitement about Japanese gardens. In , the Olmstead brothers designed the University of Washington Arboretum, and by , officials agreed that the Arboretum was a good environment for a Japanese garden.
The Arboretum Founda- tion began raising funds for the creation of the garden, and in through the assistance of the Japanese Consulate General in Seattle, the Foundation was able to enlist the help of Tatsuo Moriwaki of Tokyo Metro Parks to help guide the process. Moriwaki selected Kiyoshi Inoshita and Juki Iida from Tokyo to design and lead the construction of the project. In historical documents written by Mr.
Iida and Mr. Inoshita, no refer- ences are made to other gardens that may have influenced the design of the Seattle Japanese Garden. Often, in the Tokyo region, teagardens were built in woodlands and thickets populated mainly with oaks. Juki Iida completed the final design in , and under his supervi- sion a team of garden builders from Japan and from the local Japa- nese-American community, which included Richard Yamazaki and William Yorozu, started construction in the March of Construc- tion was planned to take three years but it was completed on an accelerated schedule in just four months due to budgetary constraints.
The original design required a number of revisions throughout con- struction in order to facilitate the accelerated pace. Also, this was the first time that Mr. Iida employed heavy equipment to expedite con- struction of a garden.
The Seattle Japanese Garden was the earliest postwar public con- struction of a Japanese-style garden on the Pacific Coast, and had a strong influence on the design of Japanese gardens throughout the region. The Japanese-style garden built by Robert Shields, an archi- tect and member of the Seattle Japanese Garden Society, at his former residence on Whidbey Island is an example of this influence.
His design featured a powerful and poetic rock garden that echoes the waterfall and mountainous themes of the Seattle Japanese Gar- den. In , the Garden celebrated the completion of a major renovation and improvement since its initial construction. This work, which was sorely needed after forty years, included an installation of landscape rocks and shoreline protection rockery, and a water re-circulation system for water conservation.
Following the renovation, the Seattle Japanese Garden Society hired Kobayashi and Associates to ex- plore the possibility of updating the Arboretum master plan with the goal of completing the original design intent and vision that had to be abbreviated during the original construction. The work resulted in a study identifying a number of future improvements including the addi- tion of a pond-viewing pavilion above the fishing village, expanding the harbor area, as well as implementation of the south entrance area expansion with a gatehouse and a wall along Lake Washington Boule- vard.Key Words: There are many varied ways that landscape architects have begun to deal with these issues and it can range from large-scale regional planning all the way down to site-specific, individual elements.
The pond has a small island crossed by dobashi earthen bridges connecting with the paths.
Skip to main content. Trademarks of this at Katsura include using straight-cut granite slabs as bridges between islands, boat-launches, and embankments. An existing magnolia tree shades a small mound which is home to fortnight lilies, aloe vera, and a lantern for added night light. The evolution of the Japanese garden at the Bloedel Reserve, the former acre estate of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel on the northern tip of Bainbridge Island across the Puget Sound from Seattle, began in the early s.
Abrams, Inc. The flow of water, which originates at the high mountain ranges, transforms itself as it continues its way through the landscape; first it turns into a waterfall, then into a stream, washing the bank by a teahouse, and finally becomes a lake. Tea house tool shed and tsukubai
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