Aesthetic ideals of the Momoyama era and their influence on garden design

That the Muromachi dry landscape garden and the Momoyama rustic tea garden should be so different comes as something of a surpnse. They are. after all. both products of Zen, the former inspired by Zen aesthetics and the latter by the dictum that Zen and tea have the same taste But the tea garden is neither dry nor austere like the kare-sansui. nor does it focus upon a dramatic rock composition. Instead it is damp and often carpeted with moss. Its stepping-stones and paths may even be constantly...

The second large wave of Chinese influence on Japan

It was during the Kamakura era (1185-1336) that the second large wave of Chinese influence reached the shores of Japan. Both the shoguns - the new political rulers - and the influential samurai welcomed the arrival of Chinese Zen Buddhism, in part for its emphasis upon meditational discipline, and in part for the magnificent Sung dynasty works of art it brought with it, which they first collected and later imitated as a conscious means of documenting their new power and wealth. Modern art...

TS 5 Vd t j r

T a 4 f 5- -T i * ft < f- if 77ie idyllic Osawa Pond on the outskirts of present-day Kyoto, as illustrated in an eighteenth-century woodcut period resulted, paradoxically, in a blossoming of the arts. It produced some of the finest poetry and novels in Japanese literary history, and some of the most beautiful sculpture and gardens. The temple gardens of the Fujiwara era were seen as representations of that Pure Land believed to be located somewhere in the West. Just as two-dimensional,...

Shokoku chaniwa meiseki zue an illustrated manual of famous tea gardens

The Shokoku chaniwa meiseki zue - an Illustrated Manual of Famous Remnants of Tea Gardens of Various Countries - originally formed part of the Kokin chado zenshu, a compendium of writings on the ritual and setting of the tea ceremony which was first published in 1694. The fifth volume of the Kokin chado zenshu was devoted specifically to the tea garden, and rapidly sold out. It was therefore republished separately in two volumes under the title Shokoku chaniwa meiseki zue. Its contents are not,...

H i i M

Aware came to acquire an undercurrent of profound melancholy. The Classic of Garden-Making The Sakutei-ki, the classic manual of garden architecture, provides another inexhaustible furd of information regarding Heian attitudes towards nature and garden design. Japanese scholars consider it probable that the treatise was written in the latter half of the eleventh century by Tachibana no Toshitsuna, a son of Fujiwara no Yorimichi. the builder of Byodo-in temple. This attribution would make the...

The Azuchi Momoyama era

The first half of the sixteenth century saw a rapid decline in the political power of the imperial court and Ashikaga shoguns. With the weakening of Kyoto's centralizing authority, the country disintegrated into tiny autonomous regions ruled by power-hungry daimyo domain lords. The country was swallowed up in the bloody struggle for power waged between daimyo factions, various religious groups and samurai warriors. Birth of the joka-machi, the town below the castle Sengoku, the nation at war,...

Introduction

This very place the Lotus Paradise, this very body the Buddha Hakuin Zenshi Song of Enlightenment It has taken major ecological disasters to remind humankind that our earth is both a living and a conscious entity Even the most hardened materialist must concede that stones, plants, animals and men are all inseparable elements of the natural whole. Rooted in our Western traditions, we find it hard to credit the Eastern belief that a rock has consciousness. Not because we know it is fallacious,...

Secret transmissions of garden art and new illustrated manuals of garden design

The two gardens of Shisen-do in Kyoto and Jiko-m near Nara are closely related to academic Chinese bunjin painting. This bunjm tradition is similarly reflected in a secret garden text composed in 1680 by the print-maker and man of letters Hishikawa Morono-bu, entitled Yokei tsukuri niwa nozu, Garden Drawings for the Creation of Specific Views. In this single volume he suggests eighteen ways of creating gardens having particular atmospheres, in double-page illustrations employing the...

Stereotypical forms of the Edo dry landscape garden

The early Edo era saw a rich renaissance of the dry landscape garden. Shigemori discusses no less than forty-four such gardens from this period in his book on the kare-sansui. But just as the pond gardens discussed above are merely small-scale replicas of earlier Heian and Muromachi prototypes, so the dry landscape gardens of the Edo era are little more than stereotypical imitations of their Muromachi forebears. The period produces nothing to compare with either the strid rectangular framework...

Gardens in retreats built by former samurai turned scholars priests and tea masters

Hermitage gardens, like the gardens for strolling of the daimyo princes, combine a variety of traditional elements from the garden for strolling, the tea garden, the dry landscape garden and the shakkei garden. Here, however, they are brought down to a domestic scale. This is reflected in the small size of two of the most important gardens of this type Shisen-do, the Poet's Hermitage, was built by Ishikawa Jozan in Kyoto as a retreat in which to pursue his literary interests following his...

The new garden prototype of the Edo era the large garden for strolling

Shigemori Taikei 1972

The basic principles of spatial organization The large garden for strolling is not strictly speaking a new garden prototype in the sense used up till now. Such is its unique nature, however, that it may nevertheless be termed a prototype. It is unique not simply in terms of scale, but in its unification of various elements of previous garden prototypes by means of a new principle of spatial organization. Its ingredients include the ponds, islands, winding streams and waterfalls of Heian boating...

The rise of a merchant culture

In an irony of history, the urban merchants who ranked lowest in Edo society slowly grew to enjoy the greatest wealth and prosperity. This in turn led to an outburst of creative activity in the arts, sponsored and encouraged by a newly-affluent bougeoisie. The warrior and farmer classes, on the other hand, whose income was crawn entirely from agriculture, found themselves growing increasingly poorer. The period from the late seventeenth to the early eighteenth century is known as the Genroku...

Stereotypical forms of the Meiji tea garden

The grounds of both Murin-an Villa and the Heian Shrine also included rustic tea gardens, and Shigemori lists over sixty-three such roji built during Meiji, Taisho and Showa times. None of these were designed as independent tea gardens such as those of the Momo-yama and early Edo eras, but are found attached to the luxurious homes of the rich. The Meiji era lacked the great tea masters needed to create tea arbours and tea gardens, and thus roji were simply executed in the style of Rikyu, Oribe...

The contemporary prototype gardens as mindscapes

The new garden prototype which emerged after the Second World War could not have been more different from its predecessors. Everything had changed - from the social background of its sponsors to the themes and elements of its composition. Its architectural settings were now the inner courtyards and entrance ar-pas nf municipal and prplprtural govprnmpnt off ires, Western-style hotels, museums, cultural halls, corporate headquarters and public piazzas. Most of these gardens share the carved rock...

An illustrated treatise on garden landscapes

The Sansui narabini yakei-zu, like the Sakutei-k before it, is a text which emphasizes the importance of the secret oral transmission of the arts of gardening. It dates from 1466 and was compiled by Shingen, one of the ishitateso priest-gardeners affiliated to Ninna-ji Temple in Kyoto. Although some of its information still pertains to Heian garden prototypes, the Sansui narabini yakei-zu - which might be translated as An illustrated manual of forms of mountain, water and field landscapes - is...

The Muromachi era

In 1333 Emperor Godaigo succeeded in overthrowing the Kamakura shogunate and restoring imperial rule. After a mere three years, however, Ashikaga Takauji, a member of the Minamoto clan, established a new military government in Kyoto itself. Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, grandson of Takauji, moved his shogunate headquarters to the Muromachi district of north-east Kyoto. Thus the period of Ashikaga rule also became known as Muromachi bakafu, Muromachi feudalism. The palace which Yoshimitsu subsequently...

Westernization versus traditionalism

For the Tokugawa shoguns, the arrival of the Americans spelled the end of their lengthy rule. Younger members of the traditional samurai class saw the signing of the friendship treaty as an act of capitulation, proof that the present shogunate was incapable of expelling the foreign barbarian A royalist coup in Kyoto in 1866 led to the restoration of the emperor to full powers. The shogunate capitulated by 1867, and after remarkably little bloodshed, the reins of power were firmly back in the...

The new garden prototype of the Momoyama era Roji the rustic tea garden

Shoin Style House

Elixir of the immortals and communal refreshment. On the aesthetic ceremony and religious ritual of tea-drinking. In an era eagerly exploiting the devices of garden architecture - outsize rocks, long bridges and exotic plants -as a means of flaunting its wealth and power, the appearance of the rustic tea garden seems an irreconcilable anomaly. It in fact represents a previously unknown garden prototype, whose design and function were as new as the manner in which it was to be enjoyed. It...

The Sukiya style a new architectural setting for the Japanese garden

Just as the unpretentious tea garden, with its radically revised layout and new compositional components, was to exert a profound influence on subsequent garden design, so the modest tea house was to inspire an equally radical architectural development, the emergence of the Sukiya style. Sukiya might best be translated as a building of refined taste The term first appears in a document of 1532 in the late sixteenth century it was used to describe a free-standing tea house. Only later did it...

Muromachi attitudes towards nature and garden design

Changes in thematic inspiration, authorship and architectural setting We liave now examined three variations of the second great Japanese garden prototype, all intended to illustrate the unique nature of the kare-sansui dry landscape garden developed during the Muromachi period Ryoan-ji is an abstract rock-and-sand garden attached to the south of the abbot's quarters. Daisen-m a highly symbolic garden of rocksu sand and plants surrounding the mam temple hall on all four sides, while Shmju-an...

Shakkei borrowed scenery in pond and dry landscape gardens of the Edo era

Both the pond gardens end the dry landscape gardens of the Edo era gain a new dimension through the skilful use of shakkei, the technique of borrowing distant scenery for their own compositional purposes. Teiji Itoh traces the origins of the term shakkei in his book Space and lllusior in the Japanese Garden' It first appeared in the seventeenth century in Chinese writings on garden art. and was adopted by the Japanese some time dunng the nineteenth century. By that point, however, the actual...

Stereotypical forms of the Edo pond garden

Many pond gardens were created dunng Edo times, the most beautiful and expressive of them in the early part of the era. Many of them form pari of Buddhist temple complexes, where they are ofter attached to the shoin of the abbot's quarters. Although laid out as gardens for strolling, they are best appreciated from fixed vantage points, such as from inside the shoin. where they can be viewed as three-dimensional pic tures framed by the rectangular lines of the building. What 6 new, however, is...

The veneration of the unique in nature and the perfection of the manmade type

The Japanese garden is not simply nature, not simply self-created, as the literal translation of the Japanese word for nature - shizen - would have us believe. The Japanese garden is and has always been nature crafted by man. It belongs to realm of architecture and is, at its best, nature as art. In Japan, as in many other cultures, the garden traces its origins back to the first urban settlements and palaces. It arose as a by-product of the material affluence and leisure enjoyed by early...

Glossary of Terms

Akisato, R , Miyako meisho zue (Illustrated Manual of Celebrated Places tn the Capital), 1780 , Miyako rinsen me< sho zue (Illustrated Manual of Celebrated Gardens in the Capital), 1799 , Ishigumi sonou yaegaki den (Transmission of Rock Compositions, Live Gardens and Eight Types of Fences), 2 Vols., 1827 . Tsukiyama teizoden, Part 2 (Transmission of Constructing Mountains and Making Gardens), 1828 Horiguchi. 5., Rikyu no cha-shitsu (Rikyu'sTea Houses), Tokyo Iwanami Shoten, 1949 Kitamura, E ....

Aesthetic ideals of the Muromachi era and their influence on garden design monomane yugen yohaku no bi

Wybe Kuitert

In the opinion of garden expert Mirei Shigemori, the kare-sansui garden reflects two aesthetic ideals fundamental to Muromachi thinking yugen, a profound and austere elegance concealing a multi-layered symbolism, and yohaku no bi, the beauty of empty space.47 For Shinichi Hisamatsu, a scholar of aesthetics, gardening is just one of several forms of art inspired by Zen Buddhism. Hisamatsu has identified seven characteristics peculiar to all of these arts these now famous qualities make a...

Stereotypical forms of the dry landscape garden since the Meiji era

Mirei Shigemon estimates that only one third of all the gardens created from Meiji to early Showa times were kare-sansui gardens. He gives forty-two of them in his Taiker8*. Stagnation had set into dry landscape garden design even in the late Edo era, and from then on kare-sansui gardens became little more than pond gardens without water. It was a genre which somehow failed to suit Meiji tastes, which were onented towards the naturalistic landscape compositions which kare-sansui by definition...

Taschen

K LN LONDON LOS ANCELES MADRID PARIS TOKYO View from the Junjokan towards the waterfall in Sambo-in Pond Garden Photo G nter Nitschke cf. p. 125 Garden of Konchi-in Photo G nter Nitschke cf. p 143 2003 TASCHEN GmbH Hohenzollernring 53, D-50672 K ln www.taschen.com Original edition 1999 Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH Design Detlev Schaper, Michael Ditter, Cologne Cover Angelika Taschen, Catinka Keul, Cologne English translation Karen Williams, London The veneraton of the umqu in nature and the...

Variational types of the Momoyama karesansui dry landscape garden

Kyoto Shoin

Kare-sansui, the new garden prototype accompanying a new type of architecture, was first invented in the Muromachi era. The kare-sansui gardens of the Momoyama era reveal the same preference for more and larger rocks already seen in the pond gardens of the same period. One of the most important kare-sansui gardens of the Momoyama era is found within the precincts of Matsuo Shrine in Yokaichi in Shiga Prefecture. Mirei Shigemori rediscovered the garden in 1936 he dates it to between 1570 and...

Intellectual trends and countertrends

The orthodox Confucian ethic supported by the Toku-gawa shoguns dearly suited their political interests. It demanded unquestioning acceptance ol existing class relationships and thus provided the ideological foundation for a rigid social hierarchy. Inevitably, however, there arose other schools of thought opposed to Tokugawa neo-Confucianism. The Kogaku-ha School of Ancient Learning, for example, questioned the hereditary system of power tranference within the Tokugawa family, and advocated a...

The Heian period

Courtyards And Corridors Urban Planning

The gardens and architecture of the Heian period (794-1185) reflect, in the first half of the period, the processes of Japanese reinterpretation of Chinese culture and, m the latter half, the results of its complete assimilation In 794. at the command of Emperor Kammu. the capital of Japan was moved to Heian-kyo (present-day Kyoto) It remained in this Capital of Peace and Tranquility until 1868. when it moved to Edo, which was in turn renamed Tokyo. Capital of the East The grid layout...

Karesansui the dry landscape garden

The Japanese Dry Landscape Garden

Celebrated Japanese garden scholar Mirei Shigemor identifies a total of 323 kare-sansui gardens and some 700 pond gardens as particularly significant amongst Japanese gardens He divides the development of the kare-sansui garden into four stages the first, prehistoric stage is equated wiih the huge boulders and rocky outcrops - iwakura and iwasaka venerated as the abodes of gods by early Shinto devotees An example here is Achi Shrine in Kurashiki The second stage corresponds to the Nara and...

Transition to a new garden prototype

The Heian garden prototype, with its pond and islands, continued to flourish during the early years of the Muromachi era, and found a new variation in the chisen kaiyu teien, a pond-spring-strolling garden designed to be enjoyed on foot rather than from a boat as before. This probably reflected the dwindling size of the ponds in such gardens, making boat rides unnecessary. The gardens of the early Zen temples Saiho-ji the Temple of Western Fragrances The gardens of Saiho-ji Temple in west Kyoto...

Stereotypical forms of the Momoyama pond garden

Azuchi Castle, Nobunaga's pride and joy, had but a short life. It became his official residence in 1579, but was burnt down in 1582 following Nobunaga's assassination. Contemporary sources describe it as bigger and better than anything seen before. Kano Eitoku 1543 1590 , the most talented painter of his day, was commissioned to execute the large-scale murals for the castle's Shoin-style rooms His palette of vivid colours on a gold ground was typical of the fashion of Momoyama times. The garden...

The combination of karesansui with okarikomi

Karikomi Wave

Momoyama garden-makers found unexpectedly new and powerful means of expression through the combination of the kare-sansui with o-karikomi, shrubs and bushes clipped into specific shapes. Karikomi was not in itself a novelty it had formed a traditional aspect of Japanese gardens from their earliest beginnings. But it was only in the Momoyama era that it emerged as a primary feature of garden design. The trend towards abstraction in Japanese garden art can be traced back to the earliest gardens...