Category: Japanese Gardens

The Sea and the Mountain in a Sacred Dance: Itsukushima and Mount Misen, Japan

The Island of Itsukushima is located in the Seto Inland Sea (Setonaikai), in the Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. It is one of about 3,000 islands that are part of the Setonaikai National Park (瀬戸内海国立公園), which was designated in 1934 (Setonaikai National Park, 2017). Miyajima (宮島町, Miyajima-chō) is the historic town located on the island of Itsukushima. …

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Japanese Flowering Cherries, the standard book by Wybe Kuitert (free online book)

With the cherry blossoms in full bloom it is a good moment to point out that the standard reference book on Japanese Flowering Cherries by Wybe Kuitert, with Arie Peterse, with a foreword by Roy Lancaster, is now free and authorized available online. Japanese flowering cherries have inspired gardeners for more than twelve centuries. They are closely …

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The Zen Garden & Why Use the Word Zen?

Prof Wybe Kuitert of the Seoul National University explores in this article the subject and origins of the “Zen Expression” in the garden art of Japan. He investigates how the theme and expression of Zen appears to not be found in old Japanese Garden texts and neither in early twentieth-century literature on the subject of garden …

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Composition of scenery in Japanese pre-modern gardens and the three distances of Guo Xi

Wybe Kuitert explores in this article traditional East Asian landscape composition through Chinese and Japanese sources and drawings, supplemented by investigative research at the rock garden at Daisen-in, Kyoto, and the larger seventeenth-century garden without rocks at Jiko-in, in Nara. In doing so he enhances our understanding of the spatial illusion of the Japanese pre-modern garden. Part of the …

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Cherry Blossoms in San Francisco: Hakone Gardens and the Japanese Tea Garden

There are more than 300 public Japanese gardens in North America and the West Coast of the United States is the home of many splendid Japanese or Japanese-inspired gardens. If you ever pass through San Francisco I can recommend two remarkable Japanese gardens for a visit. The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in …

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Continuity in Landscape – West and East

In this article by Wybe Kuitert, the author reminds us that many historic gardens may at present appear like rather isolated green spaces, but that such gardens and parks were often laid-out as an integral part of a wider, continuous landscape. The author gives examples of historic gardens in Japan and The Netherlands to illustrate …

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