The History Of Japanese Gardens
Article by Russ Chard
The History Of Japanese Gardens- An Article By R Chard
The history of Japanese gardens doesn’t actually start in Japan. The cultural home of Japanese gardens and the bedrock of the history of Japanese gardens is actually China.
Many hundreds of years ago the Chinese started designing recreational gardens and as they developed news of these structures and their ingredients spread.Is is not difficult to imagine how impressed China’s neighbours became with their aptitude to be technological innovators and their spectacular gardens were no different. The history of Japanese gardens can be traced to it’s starting period in the Han Dynasty, the Japanese imported these garden ideas from Chinaduring this period.Emperor Wu Di who lived from 140-87 BC first created a garden containing 3 small islands. These were meant to represent the Isles Of The Immortals who were considered to be Toaist gods, this set a trend for all gardens to concentrate on replicating the land of legend.
Japanese gardens today mimic nature but this was not the case during the Han period. The only gardens built were only to display mythical lands and landscapes. So there was a good deal of imagination being used! The first hill and pond garden in Japan was established in the early 600’s AD when the Chinese Emperor Yang Dienjoyed relations with Japan at his instigation.
The Japanese responded to these overtures and sent an envoy to China who was a man called Ono no Imoko. He became immersed in China and it’s culture and met with the emperor on many many occasions. Upon his return to Japan he took with him much of what he had learnt and the art of gardening was just one subject hewas keen to relate to the Japanese people. Another idea imported to Japan at the same time was Buddhism. A seemingly small and very significant step in the history of Japanese gardens.
There are a number of era’s in the history of Japanese gardens, the most modern one in terms of influence ending in the early 14th century. The Zen influence into the history of Japanese gardens can be traced to the period 1393 to 1558AD as a more simplistic and spiritual type of garden was designed and built by many people.
To write about all the twists and turns in the history of Japanese gardens in a short article is pretty difficult to do and would not really do the subject of the history of Japanese gardens justice. I do hope this article has given you some pointers on their rich tradition and heritage.
For more information about Japanese garden history and Japanese and Zen gardens CLICK HERE
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About the Author
Russ Chard lives in the Uk and is an enthusiast of Japanese and Zen gardens. He has been writing on the subject for over 5 years.
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