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"The Beauty of the               

Kyoto Daitokuji temple Daisenin garden
Daisenin Garden of Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto, the Dry Landscape garden at the peak of its design,
built in Muromachi period (15th and eary 16th Centuries).


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.

(Translated by Mr.Shigeru Komori.)

"The Basics of the Japanese Garden Elements"

Let us go over the important terms and concept of the Japanese garden before going on the tour...


under construction
images available
under construction
images available
・Taki Iwagumi
(Rocks with waterfall)

Japanese page completed!
updated 08/25/1999
・Hashi Iwagumi
(Stone bridge)

70% completed.
See Japanese page
(Stepping Stone)

updated 11/01/1996
(Bannboo fence)

updated 11/01/1996

The garden of each era

The photograph and guide of the gardens representing each era. Click on the era of your interest.

Era The gardens
Ancient times, Nara,
Ancient times, Nara,
Heian Period
(5th-11th Centuries)

updated 06/12/1998
・Ooyu circular line stone (Akita Prefecture)
・Sekizouji temple (Hyogo Prefecture)
・Heijyoukyou sakyou sanjyou nijyounomiya garden(Nara Prefecture)
・Moutuji temple(Iwate Prefecture)
Kamakura Period Kamakura Period
(12th,13th and 14th Centuries)
・Saihouji temple garden (Kyoto Prefecture)
Muromachi Period Muromachi Period
(15th and eary 16th Centuries)
・Daitokuji temple Daisenin garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Daitokuji temple Ryougenin garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Jisyouji temple(Kyoto Prefecture)
Momoyama Period Momoyama Period
(late 16th Centuries)
・Katura Imperial palace garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
Edo early days(1) Edo early days(1)
(17th Centuries)
・Daitokuji temple Kohouan garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
Edo early days(2) Edo early days(2)
(17th Centuries)
・Daichiji temple garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Nanzenji temple houjyou garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Nanzenji temple Konchiin garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
Edo middle Edo middle
(18th Centuries)
・Toujiin temple garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
・Musyanokoujisenke Kankyuuan roji(Kyoto Prefecture)
Edo end Edo end
(19th Centuries)
・.under construction
Meiji Period Meiji Period
(late 19th Centuries)
・Ichida tairyuusansou villa garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
Modern garden(1) Modern garden(1)
(20th Centuries)
・Sato museum garden (Nagano Prefecture)
・Izumo city library garden (Shimane Prefecture)
・Shinji Lake hotel garden (Shimane Prefecture)
Modern garden(2) Modern garden(2)
(20th Centuries)
Daitokuji temple zuihouin garden(Kyoto Prefecture)
Toufukuji temple houbou garden(Kyoto Prefecture)

Toufukuji temple ryuuginan garden(Kyoto Prefecture)

Caution!The selection of gardens may change without notice.
Chisao Shigemori reserves the copyright of all photographs,
and any reproduction without permission is not allowed.

Japanese Garden Glossary

275 technical terms of Japanese garden and related fields.
English version coming soon!!
(* New browser will be created for your convenience)

Gardens in Kyoto

Historical gardens in Kyoto. Guide and locations.
English version coming soon!!
(* New browser will be created for your convenience)

Grand Opening!!

"Mirei Shigemori Memorial Hall"

--- story and photograph ---
English version coming soon!!

The Works of Chisao Shigemori

--- original works by the author ---
Sorry. under construction.


"The tradition and the creation"
---Future of the Japanese garden---

by Chisao Shigemori (05/01/1998)

Recently Published Books
updated 07/14 /1999

The New Wave of Japanese Landscape
"The wave that Japanese Landscape is new"
-The great debate for the future-
Now on Sale!!

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Profile of the auther

Personal stuff. Only if you are interested in...

The Achievements of This Site

under construction.


personal links to my friends and interest.
May not be related to the Japanese garden.

under construction.

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Since 08/20/1996

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A cover translated by
Yukio Ueno & Arno Suzuki & Makoto Shimizu .& Shigeru Komori.


Last Updated : 08/31, 2000

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