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Japanese gardens (Kanji 日本庭園, nihon teien), i.e. gardens in traditional Japanese style, can be found at private homes, in neighborhood or city parks, at Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines, and at historical landmarks such as old castles. Many of the Japanese gardens most famous in the West, and within Japan as well, are dry gardens or rock gardens, karesansui. The tradition of the Tea masters has produced highly refined Japanese gardens of quite another style, evoking rural simplicity. In Japanese culture, garden-making is a high art, intimately related to the linked arts of calligraphy and ink painting. Since the end of the nineteenth century, Japanese gardens have also been imitated in Western gardening.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_garden

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The tradition of Japanese gardening was passed down from sensei to apprentice, in a rigorous apprenticeship that has remained unbroken since the fifteenth century. The opening words of Zōen's Illustrations for designing mountain, water and hillside field landscapes (1466) are "If you have not received the oral transmissions, you must not make gardens" and its closing admonition is "You must never show this writing to outsiders. You must keep it secret".[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_garden

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Last edited by yoko
Typical Japanese gardens contain several of these elements:

Water, real or symbolic.
Rocks
An island fashioned in a manmade pond, thought to have been an innovation modelled on Chinese practice, that was introduced by the powerful court dignitary Soga no Umako, about 620 CE.
A bridge to the island, or stepping stones.
A lantern, typically of stone.
A teahouse or pavilion.
A surrounding wall of traditional character.
A "borrowed landscape" from beyond the garden's confines.
Japanese gardens might fall into one of these styles:

Pond gardens, for viewing from a boat.
Sitting gardens, for viewing from inside a building or on a veranda.
Tea gardens, for viewing from a path which leads to a tea ceremony hut.
Stroll gardens, for viewing a sequence of effects from a path which circumnavigates the garden. The seventeenth-century Katsura garden in Kyoto is a famous exemplar.

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The karesansui (or karesenzui, kosansui, kosensui 枯山水: "dry landscape") style originate from zen temples. These have no water and few plants, but typically evoke a feeling of water using pebbles and meticulously raked gravel or sand. Rocks chosen for their intriguing shapes and patterns, mosses, and low shrubs typify the karesansui style. The gardens at Ryōan-ji, a temple in Kyoto, and Daisen-in, created in 1513, are particularly renowned.

Other gardens also use similar rocks for decoration. Some of these come from distant parts of Japan. In addition, bamboos and related plants, evergreens including Japanese black pine, and such deciduous trees as maples grow above a carpet of ferns and mosses.

Shakkei (借景), "borrowed scenery," is a technique used to integrate the garden with mountains, buildings, or other objects outside its boundaries. A middleground element, often carefully maintained plantings, blocks unwanted elements and frames the desired view. This middleground integrates the "borrowed" view into the garden's design. The viewer is encouraged to see all three areas - foreground, middleground, and background - as a single garden.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_garden

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Thank you Vicky. You are right.
The Japanese garden is an ideal place to sit and contemplate the meaning of life while avoiding all the hustle and bustle of everyday activity.

Spring has its hundred flowers,
Autumn its moon,
Summer has its cooling breezes,
Winter its snow.
If you allow no idle concerns
To weight on your heart,
Your whole life will be one
Perennial good season.

- The Golden Age of Zen

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quote:
Spring has its hundred flowers,
Autumn its moon,
Summer has its cooling breezes,
Winter its snow.
If you allow no idle concerns
To weight on your heart,
Your whole life will be one
Perennial good season.

- The Golden Age of Zen


This is beautiful yoko.

Thank you Vicky for adding beautiful replies and images to this thread. I am feeling at peace.

Sincerely,
Gisele

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Last edited by Gisele
This is a lovely thread.



Ryogen-in Zen Garden
Ryogen-in, a subtemple of the Daitoku-ji Buddhist complex, was constructed in 1502. There are five gardens adjoining the abbot's residence, the most famous of which is the Ryogintei, a rectangle of moss and stones viewed from the veranda of the abbot's house. The group of stones in the center of the garden is thought to represent Mt. Horai, the mythical home of Taoist immortals.

Photographs by Frantisek Staud

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.photo...6sa%3DN%26ie%3DUTF-8

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Last edited by Gisele
quote:
Originally posted by dear yoko:
The tradition of Japanese gardening was passed down from sensei to apprentice, in a rigorous apprenticeship that has remained unbroken since the fifteenth century...


Apprentice thanks Sensei so very much for the incredible visit to the beautiful gardens!

Asian

Have the heart of a gypsy, and the dedication of a soldier -Beethoven in Beethoven Lives Upstairs

Thank you Gisele and Teo.

The Japanese garden embodies native values, their cultural beliefs and religious principles. This is why there is no one prototype for the Japanese garden, just as there is no one native philosophy or aesthetic. In this way, similar to other forms of Japanese art, landscape design is constantly evolving because of the influx of mainland, namely Chinese, influences as well as the changing aesthetic tastes and values of the patrons.

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/ealac/V3613/gardens/overview.html



Takasago no Onoe no sakura Toyama no kasumi Tatazu mo aranan

GonChunagon Masafusa



On that far mountain On the slope below the peak Cherries are in flower. Oh, let the mountain mists Not arise to hide the scene.

Oe no Masafusa
Last edited by yoko
Thank you Inda and welcome back.
I hope that you had a wonderful time in Europe.

Love,
yoko


Japanese gardens are very important to the Japanese. All of the gardens are representations of nature. The purpose of these gardens in to capture nature is the utmost natural way, and do it with a touch of artistic feeling. The Japanese gardens, for the Japanese people, have an ancient history influenced by Shinto, Buddhist and Taoist philosophies. These philosphies are used in the creation of the Japanese Gardens so as to bring a spiritual sense to the gardens. The Buddhist influence makes the garden a quiet place, allowing people to look back and reflect upon themselves, or meditate.
The essential elements to a Japanese garden--water, garden plants, stones, waterfalls, trees, and bridges--create this symbolism.

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Dear Yoko, I enjoyed this post greatly. Thank you so much for sharing. It is indeed interesting how much meaning is put into a Japanese garden.
Last year I went to a garden exposition in Belgium and the main scene was a Japanese garden in the center of the venue. Very beautiful.
When I was back to Belgium in August this year we visited my daughter's sister in law (Mother of Matti, maybe you remember the sad story ...) and I was surprised to find a very beautiful Japanese garden in front of their house (which is in the countryside). It gave the place a very intense atmosphere of peace and serenity. I am sorry I had forgotten to take along my camera!
The only thing that I found exaggerated were the stepping stones which actually led as far as the entrance door of the house and while this may be funny for young people I thought it was quite a challenge to walk safely from one stone to the other, as at the time being they were also wet from the rain. Whoever will visit there, will have to use the path of stepping stones. Of course it is a beautiful sight, but I fear it is not very practical.

I have heard that Japanese gardens are very much appreciated more and more (especially in Belgium).

Love and big hugs.
Margherita 2Hearts Smile

This is a picture of the Japanese Garden in Duesseldorf/Germany


Another Japanese Garden in Kaiserslautern/Germany
Last edited by Margherita
Thank you Margherita and Sue.
Nice to see you both back.

It is interesting what you say, Margherita, about the wet stepping stones; they do get very dangerous when wet. Stones are found acress ponds and little waterways and it is very difficult to walk on them at times, even if they are dry.

Japanese gardens seem to be popular all over the world, and I am glad too see this mixing of cultures and ideas. Actually I am beginning to like the western flower gardens myself. I find them enchantingly beautiful.



Monet's garden at Giverny


Love,
yoko
Last edited by yoko
Hellol,

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