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Sakuteiki: Visions of the Japanese Gardenby Jiro Takei
Synopses & Reviews
Written by a Japanese court noble nearly 1000 years ago, Sakuteiki, or Records of Garden Making, is the oldest known treatise on the art of Japanese garden design. Composed during the Heian period, this work delves into the culture and customs of ancient Japanese society, offering insight into the Japanese view not only of gardening, but also of living life. At a time when even the art of setting stones was seen as a spiritually significant and aesthetically powerful act, Sakuteiki serves as a metaphor for the Japanese way of life, powerfully illuminating the overall culture of ancient Japan.<P>Along with ample technical advice on how to build a garden (much of which is still adhered to by traditional Japanese gardeners today) Sakuteiki reveals four unique visions of Heian-period gardens.<P>Authors Marc P. Keane and Jiro Takei offer a clear and succinct translation, and through extensive annotations and introductory chapters, provide the knowledge required to understand the secrets held within this ancient text. With extensive black and white illustrations, detailed commentary, and a complete glossary, Sakuteiki invites readers into the world of ancient Japanese garden design, exploring the role of religious tradition, nature, and the use of spirituality in the construction of a Japanese garden. This wonderful and ancient text is sure to entertain and enlighten gardeners, scholars, and historians well into the next millennium.
Book News Annotation:
Takei (emeritus, Kyoto College of Art) and Keane (landscape architecture, Kyoto U. of Art and Design) collaborated to produce a very pleasing and well-illustrated book on Japanese garden design with a translation of its great gardening classic. The Sakuteiki, written in the 11th century, contains descriptions and principles of the various elements of the Japanese gardens, such as stones, ponds, islands, waterfalls, and bamboo. In their introductory essay, the authors describe these features and provide as well the historical and social context for Japanese garden design, discussing the importance of geomancy, Buddhism, and the complex system of taboos that governed aristocratic life in Heian Japan.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Written nearly one thousand years ago, this is the oldest existing text on Japanese gardening
A 1,000 year old gardening classic, Sakuteiki or "Records of Garden Making," is the oldest surviving work on Japanese gardening
The Sakuteiki, or "Records of Garden Making," was written nearly 1000 years ago, making it the oldest work on Japanese gardening; in fact, the oldest book on gardening in the world! In this edition of the Sakuteiki, the authors provide both an English-language translation of this classic work; and an introduction to the cultural and historical context that led to the development of Japanese gardening.
A Japanese court noble wrote the Sakuteiki during the Heian period (794-1184). During this critical era in Japanese history cultural influences on poetry, clothing-and gardening-that had been imported from China and Korea over the previous centuries were reexamined and reinterpreted into their unique Japanese forms. The Sakuteiki contains the first systematic record of this new gardening style-with both technical advice on gardening-building (much of which is still followed in today's Japanese gardens) and an examination of the four central threads of allegorical meaning which were integral features of Heian-era garden design.
The Sakuteiki, or "Records of Garden Making," was written nearly one thousand years ago. It is the oldest existing text on Japanese gardening-or any kind of gardeningin the world. In this edition of the Sakuteiki the authors provide both an English-language translation of this classic work and an introduction to the cultural and historical context that led to the development of Japanese gardening.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 236-239) and index.
About the Author
Jiro Takei, professor emeritus of the Kyoto College of Art, taught a course on the Sakuteiki for many years. He has worked as the Chairman of the Japanese Garden Academic Society, regional chief of the Gardening Academic Society and chief researcher of the Research Center for Japanese Garden Art.
Marc P. Keane, a licensed landscape architect and garden designer, went to Japan in 1985 and since then has been creating and building gardens for companies, temples and private residences. Mr. Keane is also the author of Japanese Garden Design.
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