Sakuteiki: Visions of the Japanese Garden: A Modern Translation of Japan's Gardening Classic (Tuttle Classics)
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Learn the art of Japanese gardening with this classic, fascinating text.
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 gardening—in the world. In this edition of the Sakuteiki the authors provide 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. Central to this explanation is an understanding of the sacred importance of stones in Japanese culture and Japanese garden design.
Written by a Japanese court noble during the Heian period (794-1184), the Sakuteiki includes both technical advice on gardening—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. For those seeking inspiration to build a rock garden or just better understand the Japanese stone garden, the Sakuteiki is an enduring classic.
understanding, readers today can glean ideas that inform their own understanding of gardens—as visitors or as designers. The Structure of the Heian Capital11 When the Heian capital, now known as Kyōto, was built in 794, it was the fifth large-scale capital to be built within just one hundred years, following Fujiwara, Heijō, Naniwa, and Nagaoka.12 The process of rebuilding capitals in new locations ended with the construction of the Heian metropolis. The city was to remain as the imperial seat
unacceptable for those below a certain status. 122. For an explanation of sakaki and directions see p. 116. 123. The character for gate is 門, while that for tree is 木. The character for idle, 閑 kan, depicts a tree inside, or directly in line with, a gate. 124. The character for trouble, 困 komaru, depicts a tree 木 in the center of a square. 125. The character for person, in this case the master of the house, is 人. The character for imprison or capture, 囚 toraeru, depicts a person in the center
mizu hakari mizukiri ishi Water-Splitting Stones; those set along the bed of a stream to divide the flow of the water: 水切の石 mizukoshi no ishi Spillway Stones; those set along the bed of a stream to modulate the flow of the water by slightly damming it: 水ごしの石 [水越しの石] mizu ochi no ishi Waterfall Stone; the upright stone in the center of a waterfall over which the stream falls: 水落の石 mono imi a taboo: 物忌, alt. imi, 忌; the Sakuteiki uses the expression kinki mori jima Forest Isle; a style of
Maison Franco-Japonaise, 1958). Hida, Norio. Teien Shokusai no Rekishi: Heian Jidai no Shokusai. Vol. 1-5. Tōkyō: Nihon Bijutsu Kōgei, 1990-91. Kawasaki Nobuyuki and Sasahara Kazuo, ed. Shūkyōshi. Tōkyō: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 1974. Komatsu, Shigemi, ed. Nihon no Emaki. Vol. 18, Ise Monogatari Emaki, Sagoromo Monogatari, Koma Kurabe Gyōkō Emaki, Genji Monogatari Emaki. Tōkyō: Chūōkōronsha, 1988. Komatsu, Shigemi, ed. Nihon no Emaki. Vol. 8, Nenjū Gyōji Emaki. Tōkyō: Chūōkōronsha, 1987.
usually made of cut stone or wood, and shaped with a slight upward curve. A smaller bridge was built in front of the western Middle Gate, where there was a small drainage ditch that followed along the buildings and corridors. A large, curved bridge connected the Southern Court to the central island in the pond. At times the railings of this bridge were painted a bright vermilion color, a custom left over from the Asuka and Nara periods, when Chinese style was still considered high fashion. If