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The Japanese garden evolved from the landscaping of gardens and it developed into an original art form to become an important part of the Japanese culture. The art of Japanese garden is closely associated with the art of architecture and the stone arrangement which are the integral part of the comprehensive art of gardens. History of the Japanese garden goes back to around 7th century and the early documents about the design of gardens are from approximately the 10th century.
From the ancient remains of the rock arrangement ( of the AD 5th century ) we seem to find some likely resemblance in the existing Japanese gardens. They are the circular layout of rocks either flat or upright found in Akita and Hokkaido. However, it appears that they were used for the spiritual rituals and not designed for as stone arrangement for the beauty of gardens. It may be fair to say that the concept of gardens were yet premature in this period.
Although these early circular stones or other rocks that are jutting out in the cliff were the objects of worship and prayer for the spirits of nature, such spiritual foundation for the stones continued to sublimate in the later art form of stone arrangement and gardens. In the transition process from 7th century to 10th century, Buddhism and new cultures were brought in from China and Korea and they played important roles in the development of garden art. They became the philosophical foundation for the original design of the Japanese art of space in the form of gardens.
In the background of the design and rock arrangements of the Japanese garden there is a respect for the nature and abstract representations of the utopian world of the time which were derived from the religion and philosophy. Therefore, the Japanese gardens use natural stones, only without any artificial processing. They are arranged to show many expressions of sometimes dynamic forms and other times extremely subtle and sensitive forms. These gardens give many impressions to those who appreciate them and they move people in various ways. This is the evidence that the designers of the Japanese gardens of different times had extremely sophisticated sense of beauty and aestheticity.
In the following section we will see the Japanese gardens from different historical period and appreciate their beauty and the designs of arrangements.
(Rocks with waterfall)
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|Era||The gardens||Ancient times,
|：||・Ooyu circular line stone (Akita Prefecture)
・Sekizouji temple (Hyogo Prefecture)
・Heijyoukyou sakyou sanjyou nijyounomiya garden(Nara Prefecture)
・Moutuji temple(Iwate Prefecture)
(12th,13th and 14th Centuries)
|：||・Saihouji temple garden (Kyoto Prefecture)||Muromachi Period
(15th and eary 16th Centuries)
|：||・Daitokuji temple Daisenin garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Daitokuji temple Ryougenin garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Jisyouji temple(Kyoto Prefecture)
(late 16th Centuries)
|：||・Katura Imperial palace garden(Kyoto Prefecture)||Edo early days(1)
|：||・Daitokuji temple Kohouan garden(Kyoto Prefecture)||Edo early days(2)
|：||・Daichiji temple garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Nanzenji temple houjyou garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Nanzenji temple Konchiin garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
|：||・Toujiin temple garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Musyanokoujisenke Kankyuuan roji
|：||・.under construction||Meiji Period
(late 19th Centuries)
|：||・Ichida tairyuusansou villa garden(Kyoto Prefecture)||Modern garden(1)
|：||・Sato museum garden (Nagano Prefecture)
・Izumo city library garden (Shimane Prefecture)
・Shinji Lake hotel garden (Shimane Prefecture)
|：||Daitokuji temple zuihouin garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
Toufukuji temple houbou garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
Toufukuji temple ryuuginan garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
|The selection of gardens may change without notice.|
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"Mirei Shigemori Memorial Hall"
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"The tradition and the creation"
---Future of the Japanese garden---
by Chisao Shigemori (05/01/1998)
The New Wave of Japanese Landscape
"The wave that Japanese Landscape is new"
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