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Japanese Gardens: Tranquility, Simplicity, Harmonyby Geeta K. Mehta
Synopses & Reviews
and#160;The essential elements of a dry Japanese garden are few: rocks, gravel, moss. Simultaneously a sensual matrix, a symbolic form, and a memory theater, these gardens exhibit beautiful miniaturization and precise craftsmanship. But their apparent minimalism belies a true complexity. In Zen Landscapes, Allen S. Weiss takes readers on an exciting journey through these exquisite sites, explaining how Japanese gardens must be approached according to the play of scale, surroundings, and seasons, as well as in relation to other artsandmdash;revealing them as living landscapes rather than abstract designs.
Weiss shows that these gardens are inspired by the Zen aesthetics of the tea ceremony, manifested in poetry, painting, calligraphy, architecture, cuisine, and ceramics. Japanese art favors suggestion and allusion, valuing the threshold between the distinct and the inchoate, between figuration and abstraction, and he argues that ceramics play a crucial role here, relating as much to the site-specificity of landscape as to the ritualized codes of the tea ceremony and the everyday gestures of the culinary table.
With more than one hundred stunning color photographs, Zen Landscapes is the first in-depth study in the West to examine the correspondences between gardens and ceramics. A fascinating look at landscape art and its relation to the customs and craftsmanship of the Japanese arts, it will appeal to readers interested in landscape design and Japanandrsquo;s art and culture.
Book News Annotation:
Japanese gardens by their very simplicity and muted colors inspire a sense of reflection and calm, regardless of their style or their components. This book focuses on 23 public, private, and temple gardens located throughout Japan. Formal dry gardens of flat surfaces of finely-patterned gravel interrupted with large stones and moss are as eye-catching as those with frothy bamboo, slender trees, mosses, and soft mounds of flowering shrubs in this collection of vivid photographs and descriptive text. The book is a collaborative effort by Murata (advertising photographer), Tada (editor and author), and Mehta (architect and architecture, Temple U., Japan Campus). Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Finding tranquility, appreciating simplicity and living in harmony with nature and others—these are the roots of the Japanese garden
At the heart of a Japanese garden is harmony with nature. More than simply a landscape of trees and flowering shrubs, a Japanese garden provides a place of serenity and rest, filled with peaceful spots that lend themselves to meditation and contemplation. Japanese Gardens celebrates and illustrates this ideal, showcasing the exquisite natural beauty of more than 20 quintessentially Japanese gardens-big and small, urban and rural, traditional and contemporary.
The expert author-and-photographer team behind this book excels at capturing and explaining the essential elements and techniques that distinguish Japanese gardens from those of other countries. The featured sites range from large feudal period gardens, temple gardens and private and countryside gardens to mountain flower gardens, tea gardens and gardens devoted to miniature bonsai.
At the heart of a Japanese garden is harmony with nature. More than simply a landscape of trees and flowering shrubs, a Japanese garden provides a place of serenity and rest, filled with peaceful spots that lend themselves to meditation and contemplation. andlt;iandgt;Japanese Gardensandlt;/iandgt; celebrates and illustrates this ideal, showcasing the exquisite natural beauty of more than 20 quintessentially Japanese gardensand#8212;big and small, urban and rural, traditional and contemporary.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;The expert author-and-photographer team behind this book excels at capturing and explaining the essential elements and techniques that distinguish Japanese garden design from that of other countries. The featured sites reflect a cross section of Japanese culture and history including large feudal period gardens, temple and Zen gardens and private countryside gardens. The mountain flower garden, tea garden, rock garden and bonsai garden alike are all celebrated and appreciated in this beautiful book.
About the Author
Geeta K. Mehta is a partner in the firm of Braden and Mehta Architects. She is the co-author of several books, including ,Japan Style and Japan Houses.
Table of Contents
and#160;Introduction: Transformations of Vision
1and#160; Transient Symbols
2and#160; On the Circulation of Metaphor
3and#160; Zen Mountains, Zen Water
5and#160; Pottery Landscapes
6and#160; The Tea Bowl and the Toilet Bowl
7and#160; Impossible Possibles
Postscript: A Leaf
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