Essay about Japanese Gardens

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Japanese Gardens The role of gardens play a much more important role in Japan than here in the United States. This is due primarily to the fact the Japanese garden embodies native values, cultural beliefs and religious principles. Perhaps this is why there is no one prototype for the Japanese garden, just as there is no one native philosophy or aesthetic. In this way, similar to other forms of Japanese art, landscape design is constantly evolving due to exposure to outside influences, mainly Chinese, that effect not only changing aesthetic tastes but also the values of patrons. In observing a Japanese garden, it is important to remember that the line between the garden and the landscape that surrounds it is not separate. Instead,…show more content…
The architecture “norm” for aristocratic homes was in the Shinden-zurkuri style, “which was clearly based on the principle that the individual parts of the building should be merged as much as possible into the garden” (Yoshida, p.12). The main building, named the Shinden, represented the area reserved for the master himself, and always opened up to the south side of the garden. There were corridors, or tai-no-ya, connecting the Shinden to the rest of the buildings in the complex. There corridors created an enclosure which is where a lake would be placed and where the stroll garden was erected. Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion (1394), serves as an example of this Shinden type. The site in northern Kyoto was developed as a large retirement estate by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1409) beginning in 1394. The pavilion itself was sited the edge of a sprawling palace complex that no longer exists today. This was intended as proof that the warrior shogunate could contribute to the cultural and aesthetic life of the land to an extent equal to that of the imperial aristocracy. It has been recorded that the actual emperor of Japan visited Kinkakuji in 1408, the first time an emperor had ever stayed with a person that was not a member of the imperial court. The shogun
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