Bamboo fences - Part 1(竹垣)

In Japanese gardens as well as in Western gardens, fences can have many different functions – from being mainly practical, subdividing the garden or separating it from the outside to being a more decorative element.

Bamboo is a very light and easy to work material. It is strong, yet flexible, which allows for a great variety of practical uses and designs. As a building material for the outside, where it is exposed to sun and rain, it is relatively short-lived. Especially when the bamboo is in direct contact with water or soil, it weathers rapidly. Still, even though a fence may last only around 5 years, it ages gracefully.

Part 1 deals with the most important tall bamboo fences.

  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • Chasen-gaki 茶筅垣
  • Daitokuji-gaki 大徳寺垣
  • Shiba-gaki (Uguisu-gaki) 柴垣, 鶯垣
  • Koshiba-gaki 小柴垣
  • Kuromoji-gaki 黒文字垣
  • Takehō-gaki 竹穂垣
  • Katsura-gaki 桂垣
  • Ginkakuji-gaki 銀閣寺垣
  • Kenninji-gaki 建仁寺垣
  • Misu-gaki 御簾垣
  • Nanzenji-gaki 南禅寺垣
  • Numazu-gaki/Ajiro-gaki 沼津垣, 網代垣
  • Teppō-gaki 鉄砲垣
  • Tokusa-gaki 木賊垣
  • Sode-gaki 袖垣

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Elements & Explanations

Bamboo fences - Part 2(竹垣)

In Japan, fences have first been used extensively during the Kamakura period and developed much later than walls. That is surprising – considering the availability and versatility of the materials used. Their functions are manifold: They block views and separate sceneries, are erected as boundaries around the garden, work as windbreaks or screens or emphasize a special element in a garden.

Part 2 of the mini-series on fences deals with low fences – Low fences are mostly used in a garden to visually separate different garden areas from another, to mark paths and to guide the visitor through the garden.

All of the fences in this eBook are see-through fences – sukashi-gaki (透垣). The garden visitor can see what lies behind them, but cannot go there. Depending on the garden situation, this design element can be used to increase curiosity.

When the fences are used to divide garden areas, they are called shikiri-gaki (仕切垣). Very low fences (about ankle to knee high) are called Ashimoto-gaki (足元垣 – “step” or “foot-level” fence). They are used to line a path and keep visitors off the moss or grass area.

  • Introduction
  • Yotsume-gaki 四つ目垣
  • Kinkakuji-gaki 金閣寺垣
  • Kōestu-gaki 光悦垣
  • Ryōanji-gaki 龍安寺
  • Nanako-gaki 魚子垣
  • Shiori-do 枝折戸
  • Buying Bamboo from the wholesaler

10 pages
55 pictures

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Elements & Explanations