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Japanese Zen Gardens

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Japanese Zen Gardens Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The austere, enigmatic rock gardens of Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, have never ceased to fascinate garden lovers. Weather-beaten rocks set in an expanse of white sand raked into geometric patterns challenge the idea of a garden as a space chiefly dedicated to the cultivation and appreciation of plants. How did the taste for this kind of garden arise? What do the stones represent? Why aren’t there more flowers? This book sets out to answer questions such as these. It explores the Zen characteristics of these gardens, and discusses the impact Zen Buddhism has had on the Japanese way of looking at the natural world. The book considers how these gardens can be seen as artistic representations of Zen consciousness, reflecting the longing for religious enlightenment. This book also shows how key traditional concepts, such as that of using the confined space of a garden to create a landscape in miniature, were reinterpreted in Zen temple gardens. It explores how they make use of traditional imagery, such as those of mountain and sea, and how they reflect that acute sensitivity to the passage of time and the changing of the seasons which characterizes so many other Japanese garden styles. Richly illustrated with newly commissioned photography by Alex Ramsay, this book covers important examples of Japanese Zen temple gardens from the fourteenth century through to the twentieth century. It appeals to readers who are interested in gardens, garden design and garden history, as well as in Zen Buddhism and Zen aesthetics. It also serves as a useful reference book for travellers planning a trip to Japan to visit the country’s temples.

Review:

"This study of the Japanese Zen garden as living art treats the landscapes like the Chinese ink brush paintings that many of the gardens effect with their use of depth, distance, and symbol. Rocks are arranged to look like mountains, waterfalls, cranes, and turtles; trees and flowers are placed to evoke great distances. The book opens with a history of Japanese Zen gardens, from precursors in the fifth through twelfth centuries to the first truly Zen Buddhist gardens in the 13th century, then surveys those Zen gardens that advanced the traditions over many centuries up to today. The second half of the book explores the elements and symbols that serve to ground the visitor in awareness 'of each transient moment in our fleeting lives.' Long sidebars titled 'Gardens of Distinction' focus on the simple details of these gardens, such 'stones tied with black hemp-palm rope' to indicate the path to a tea ceremony. The photographs by Alex Ramsay and a scattering of landscape plans elevate the book further. A list of gardens to visit, a glossary, and a timeline of relevant historical events in Japan, China, and Europe round out this comprehensive survey. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

YOKO KAWAGUCHI was born in Tokyo and educated in the United States, Canada and Japan. She has lived in the UK for the last twenty years. The author of Serene Gardens: Creating Japanese Design and Detail in the Western Garden, she lectures on Japanese garden history, and has appeared on BBC Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour and the BBC World Service.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780711234475
Author:
Kawaguchi, Yoko
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln
Author:
Ramsay, Alex
Subject:
Japanese Gardens
Subject:
Gardening-Asian Gardens
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20140231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
140 colour illustrations
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
11 x 11 in

Related Subjects

Home and Garden » Gardening » Asian Gardens

Japanese Zen Gardens New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$50.00 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Frances Lincoln - English 9780711234475 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This study of the Japanese Zen garden as living art treats the landscapes like the Chinese ink brush paintings that many of the gardens effect with their use of depth, distance, and symbol. Rocks are arranged to look like mountains, waterfalls, cranes, and turtles; trees and flowers are placed to evoke great distances. The book opens with a history of Japanese Zen gardens, from precursors in the fifth through twelfth centuries to the first truly Zen Buddhist gardens in the 13th century, then surveys those Zen gardens that advanced the traditions over many centuries up to today. The second half of the book explores the elements and symbols that serve to ground the visitor in awareness 'of each transient moment in our fleeting lives.' Long sidebars titled 'Gardens of Distinction' focus on the simple details of these gardens, such 'stones tied with black hemp-palm rope' to indicate the path to a tea ceremony. The photographs by Alex Ramsay and a scattering of landscape plans elevate the book further. A list of gardens to visit, a glossary, and a timeline of relevant historical events in Japan, China, and Europe round out this comprehensive survey. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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