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Japanese Garden History
Transcript of Japanese Garden History
The Muromachi period
1185 - 1333ce
During this time the Imperial court of Japan and merchants imports many ideas and styles from the T'ang dynasty in China
This was the begining of the classical court culture in Japan, this at first was heavily influnced by china but developed into its own style. At this time the aristocracy flurished and became rich allowing the persiut of art, philosophy and gardening.(http://mokurai.destinyslobster.com/garden_timeline.html)
The start of this period was marked by the overthrow of the emperor and the rise of the warrior class known as the Samurai. Many of these warriors practiced Zen Buddhism as it reflected there simple, austere lifestyles.
The large influence of the Zen aesthetic led to the creation of the dry garden or Kare-sansui, these reflected not the seasons or nature but the inner self. The most famous of these are at the Ryōan-ji temple in Kyoto
Gardens have existed in japan since the beginning of history. These spaces were called 'Niwa' this name still exsists today. There were two sources which this name came from, religion (and government) an open space spread with gravel used for ceremonies and public events and Farming, a space where daily tasks are carried out.
(The gardens of japan,Teiji Itoh,1984)
300bce-300ce Yayoi period
260ce Shinto shrine at Ise, First sacred space in Japan and oldest architectural style connected to nature. (http://mokurai.destinyslobster.com/garden_timeline.html)
Buddhism and China
Around 552ce Buddhism arrives in Japan from China through Korea.
612ce Ono-no-lmoko is sent to the court of the chinese Sui dynasty as an emissary of Japan and returns with writings, art and descriptions of gardens
645ce Emperor Kotoku becomes Buddhist and starts new capital in what is now Osaka using ideas taken form the ancient chinese palace city of Chang'an and the art of Fung Shui
These Buddhist influences were combined with the concept of Niwa as well as Shinto and Taoist ideas of reflecting nature within the garden
(The gardens of japan,Teiji Itoh,1984)
T'ang dynasty China
753 Chinese Buddhist teacher Jianzhen arrives in japan with craftsmen and gardeners and builds the Toshodai-ji Temple
Early gardens inspired by the rugged coast line of Japan and the lakes of aristocratic gardens where lined with rocks, pebbles and sand. The style was so popular that the word Shima meaning Island was used has the word for garden for the next one hundred years. (http://fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/history.htm)
At this time the contemplative art of garden design became an obsession of the rich and a distinctive style known as the shinden (sleeping Quarters), this was a style which used views of the garden through a window or doorway in order to fame the view, this was combined with the practise of standing rocks within the garden. (http://fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/)
1050 the sakuteiki is written, this is the first known book about gardening and sets out the methods and philosophies of design and construction. (http://mokurai.destinyslobster.com/garden_timeline.html)
unique and unsual natural objects such as a weathered tree and a jagged rock are venerated as a abode of the devine (http://fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/history.htm)
The Samurai and Zen
As the power of the Samurai grew many gardens were constructed by a new wealthy class of priest gardeners, these gardens not only provided an aesthetically pleasing vista but created philosophic and spiritual meanings through the landscape design especially in the use of rocks as well as providing a peaceful environment for meditation.
During this period trade to and from china was resumed and chinese landscape paintings from the sung dynasty had a huge influence on Japanese garden design (http://fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/history.htm)
Between 1256/1344Muso Soseki designs the gardens at Tenryu-ji in Kyoto
During this period Kyoto once again became the seat of governmental power and the hills surrounding the city were use to create waterfalls and water features, often for the calming sound of water falling into rock, also the Tea ceremony became formalized.
Gardens at this time became more abstract and often featured massive rocks laid on there sides, these rocks were named and symbolized many different things. zen monks build small simple temple gardens away from the extravagance of the palaces (http://fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/history.htm)
Silver pavilion temple Ginkaku-ji was built in 1433
The Momoyama period
The Edo period
The Meiji period
1912-Date Modern times
During time time of peace as Zen Buddhism flourished many great estates and gardens were built including the Imperial palace in Kyoto
Development of the tea ceremony influenced garden design creating simple tea houses in small gardens with winding paths lit by hanging lantons, natural stone bridges or stepping stones over ponds located near the house and clipped bushes. These gardens were watered to be damp and green with a cherry tree to add colour in the spring (http://fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/history.htm) (the gardens of Japan)
Tea pavilions at Kodaiji
Kobori Enshu a famous garden designer of the time is acredated with developing the strolling garden, a garden you are encuraged to walk along a winding path and are taken from veiw to view withinthe landscape (http://fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/history.htm)
The Imperial Palace and the Tea ceremony
As Japan ceases trade with the out side world once again and the power of the Samurai is fading. Gardens rather than being souly made for monks, princes, or warrior artists, start to be created by the rising merchant class (http://fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/history.htm)
The tea garden is used on a palatial scale and farther develops the stroll garden. One of the best examples is the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto
The stroll garden was adopted by the rising class of merchants who now had the power and the money. Some of the best examples are Tokyo eg Rikugien, Old Furukawa, Kiyosumi, Kyu Iwasaki-tei (http://www.gardenvisit.com)
Trade with the west began again and western thyme's such as public parks, flower beds and lawns stared to incorporated into garden design (http://fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/history.htm)
As Japan became industrialized the ideas of the international modernism were transmitted from the west. As the Zen influence created gardens which were both abstract and austere they were extremely popular with these western designers (http://www.gardenvisit.com/)
The Japanese style is still extremely popular today and is still at the cutting edge of design
The Stroll Garden
607ce Chinese emperor Sui Yang starts construction of Imperial Palace and gardens, they are dominated by large lakes and islands and filled with mature trees and wildlife from around the empire. This style capitulates the Japanese word sansui literally meaning landscape.(fdrummond.www2.50megs.com/history.htm)
The Tea Garden
Garden History of Japan