Ponds in the Japanese garden
(池・流れ 日本庭園)

Ponds in the Japanese garden are a central part of the traditional Japanese garden design.

Already the Sakuteiki stated that a garden is made of water, rocks, and plants.

This eBook gives an overview over basic pond shapes and their meanings. It will explain how ponds were traditionally built and how this changed over time until today.

Reading this book will give everyone who is interested in Japanese gardens and might want to build a pond at home, an idea what is important before starting the project.

But even for people without a garden, the eBook gives interesting insights in the Japanese garden culture of several centuries.



Contents of the eBook:

  • Introduction
  • 
History of ponds in Japanese gardens
  • 
The meaning of ponds
  • Pond stereotypes
  • 
Rivers or streams in the Japanese garden
  • Waterfalls in the Japanese garden
  • Building Ponds

15 informative pages, packed with
29 (hand drawn) illustrations, and photographs of ponds, rivers, and waterfalls
pdf 16 MB

The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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Elements & Explanations

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.

Contents:
  • 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.

Contents:
  • 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
17MB

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Elements & Explanations

Japanese garden paths - Part 1(通路)

Paths in Japanese gardens have more than one function – Not only do they lead the visitor through the garden and to the best vistas, they also influence how the visitor experiences the garden. A wide and neatly laid out path encourages a fast pace, maybe two or even three persons can walk next to each other. It would be possible for the visitors to chat or to look at the garden and the buildings while walking. On a narrow path of rough or rounded natural stones, in contrast, guests would have to go in a row while watching their footsteps carefully. The visitor’s attention would be directed from external influences towards the action of placing their feet on the stepping stones one step at a time – a completely different garden experience.

Paths are also the connection between architecture and the garden – usually, paths around the main building of a residence or temple are straight and formal and become more naturalistic and informal as they lead away from the building and into the garden.

Part 1 of the Japanese garden path series focuses on laid stone paths, while Part 2 will deal with stepping stones and smaller gardens paths.

Contents:
  • Introduction
  • Shin-Gyō-Sō system (真行草)
  • Shin-style paths (真)
  • Gyō-style paths (行)
  • Sō-style paths (草)


  • 11 pages
    45 great pictures
    17MB

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Elements & Explanations

Japanese garden paths - Part 2(通路)

Stepping stones are called “tobi-ishi“ (飛石) in Japanese. The literal translation is “Flying stones” or “Skipping stones”. Walking on a stepping stone path requires much more attention than walking on a paved surface – the visitor has to make tiny jumps to get from one stone to another. This influences the way a visitor experiences the garden. While it is possible for two or more people to comfortably walk next to each other on neatly laid out paths and maybe have a conversation, a stepping stone path forces the visitors to go in line, one after the other. This is one reason why tea gardens often have stepping stones. While walking down the path to the tea house, the guests have time to “arrive” in the garden, leave their everyday life behind and prepare mentally for the tea ceremony to come.

Tea master Sen no Rikyu (千利休) is said to have introduced the tobi-ishi path – he did not like that sandals and shoes became dirty when walking on the bare soil. He also recommended that the stepping stones are 6cm higher than the ground. Other tea masters after him preferred them to be 5cm (Furuta Oribe) and 3cm (Kobori Enshu).

The first part of this eBook describes different path patterns, the second part will deal with Trump Stones (Yaku-ishi) – stones that have a specific role in the garden. The last part will introduce four Japanese gardens with beautiful stepping stones.

Contents:
  • Introduction
  • Choku-uchi paths (直打)
  • Ōmagari (大曲)
  • Chidori-gake (千鳥掛)
  • Gan-uchi, Gankake (雁打、雁掛)
  • Fumiwake-ishi (踏分石)
  • Garan-ishi (伽藍石)
  • Fumi-ishi (踏み石)
  • Kutsunugi-ishi (沓脱石)
  • Kyaku-ishi (客石)
Extra pages for these gardens:
Jōmyō-ji (浄妙寺)
Raikyū-ji (頼久寺)
Ōhashi-ke (大橋家庭園)
Nanzen-ji (南禅寺)

13 pages filled with information about Japanese garden paths
53 beautiful pictures of tobi-ishi and Japanese karesansui gardens
17MB

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Elements & Explanations

The Art of Gravel Pattern in the Japanese Garden(砂紋)

Zen gardens with their gravel patterns are usually the first association people have when thinking about Japanese gardens. Reduced colors and little vegetation let the eye rest and calm the mind, giving the garden a peaceful atmosphere.

This is where a subtle, yet intriguing design feature of Japanese gardens comes into play – The carefully raked gravel patterns of rock and sand gardens. When the low morning or evening sun casts long shadows in the garden, the texture of rocks and gravel take center stage.

Contents:
    • Introduction
    • Origins
    • Gravel pattern / Sand pattern
    • Ren-mon 漣紋 – Ripple patterns
    • Ryūsui-mon 流水紋 – Stream patterns
    • Kyokusen-mon 曲線紋 – Meandering stream patterns
    • Mori-zuna 盛砂 – Sand piles
    • hokubutsu-mon 植物紋 – Plant patterns
    • Uzumaki-mon 渦巻紋 – Vortices
    • Maru‐uzu-mon 丸渦紋 – water drop wave patterns
    • Chokusen-mon 直線紋 – Straight line patterns
    • Ginkaku-ji 銀閣寺 – Gravel pattern of the Silver Pavilion
 

10 informative pages, packed with
62 hand drawn illustrations and photographs of gravel patterns
46 MB

The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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Elements & Explanations

Auspicious plants in Japanese Gardens(縁起の良い植物)

There are various plants all over the world with special meanings.
Like lily stands for purity or is a flower, that is used to honor the deceased, or daisy stands for innocence and loyal love.

In Japan, there are plants with auspicious meanings too. They are called “Engi no ii” plants 縁起の良い as a sign of luck or a good omen.

How this plants got their particular meaning, how they are used and why you should plant them in your garden, you will find in our eBook.

Contents:
  • Introduction
  • Japanese “fuusui”
  • Plants:
  • Heavenly Bamboo
  • Hiiragi
  • Japanese Laurel
  • Japanese Apricot
  • Pagoda Tree
  • Satsuki Azalea
  • Spirea
  • Bottlebrush
  • Crape Myrtle
  • Sarcandra
  • Bitter Orange
  • Rhododendron
  • Camellia
  • Christmas Berry
  • Notes


11 pages with lots of information about the origin of Japanese flower’s names, their meaning and various descriptions of Japanese traditions.
PDF 119MB
mobi 19MB

 The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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Customer’s Voice

“Auspicious plants in the garden”. The title alone had me intrigued from the beginning. This e-book explains very clearly how plants used in Japanese gardens got their auspicious meanings; what they represent if you like and why you should plant them in your garden.
The layout of the book is straight forward and easy to follow. I love how both the Japanese and English names are given for each plant. The example pictures representing each plant are beautifully shot and are taken in a number of different settings.
I feel people who are new to Japanese gardens and those who are more familiar with the plants used would both gain a great deal of knowledge from this e-book. A thoroughly enjoyable read and something I know I’ll be referring back to from time to time.

K.Y.

Elements & Explanations

Stone arrangement in the Japanese garden(庭石 石組み 景石)

The arrangement of stones is one of the most important elements when creating a Japanese Garden.

In the oldest preserved manual of Japanese gardening, garden making was called “ishi wo taten koto” – erecting stones.

Zen gardens with their stone arrangements are usually the first association people have when thinking about Japanese gardens. Reduced colors and little vegetation let the eye rest and calm the mind, giving the garden a peaceful atmosphere.

This eBook will introduce you to the most common stone arrangements in Japanese gardens and teach you the very basics of stone setting in four easy illustrations.

Contents:
  • Introduction
  • Selecting stones
  • Stone naming
  • Introducing Gogyōishi
  • Stone settings:
  • Sanzon ishigumi
  • One stone arrangement
  • Two stone arrangement
  • Three stone arrangement
  • Five stone arrangement
  • Seven stone arrangement
  • Shumisen arrangement
  • Uzumaki arrangement
  • Cave arrangement
  • Yodomari arrangement
  • Shichigosan arrangement
  • Waterfall types
  • Island types
  • Wall types
  • Setting stones in the garden


12 informative pages, packed with
44 hand drawn illustrations and photographs of stone arrangements
pdf 14 MB  

The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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Customer’s Voice

I bought your very thorough leaflet on stone arrangement. It contained information I haven't found in numerous other books on Japanese gardens I have bought.

F.

Elements & Explanations

[Bundle] Japanese Garden History(日本庭園歴史)

From the Heian until the Heisei period

To understand Japanese gardens, it is necessary to gain a little knowledge about Japan’s history as well.

It is fascinating how the development of gardens in Japan is this closely connected to the changing lifestyle of Japan’s nobility and the changes in who holds the power.

In this series, we want to show how the gardens evolved over time, from the Heian, until the Heisei period with their incomparable strolling and, in contrast, dry landscape, and natural gardens.

This bundle contains all three volumes of our Japanese Garden History series. They contain:

Book 1:
  • The Tale of Gama-ike
  • Introduction
  • The First Half of the Heian Period
  • Shinden-zukuri
  • The Second Half of the Heian Period
  • Summary
  • The Tale of Prince Genji
  • The Fujiwara era
  • The Sakuteki


13 pages full of information about the History of Japanese Gardens.
24 pictures of gardens, illustrations, and art.
PDF 14MB
mobi 21MB

Book 2:
  • The Kamakura period and the rise of Zen
  • Shoin-zukuri and first semi-professional gardeners
  • Musō Soseki
  • The Muromachi period
  • Transformation of Saihō-ji temple and Tenryū-ji temple
  • The Ashikaga shoguns and their temple residences
  • Three types of dry landscape gardens
  • The Azuchi-Momoyama period
  • Kobori Enshū and his karikomi pruning style
  • Tea gardens
  • Summary


19 pages full of information about the History of Japanese Gardens.
31 pictures of gardens, illustrations, and art.
PDF 36MB
mobi 32MB

Book 3:
  • The Edo period
  • The Gardens of the Edo period
  • Edo period summary
  • From Edo period to Heisei period
  • Meiji period gardens
  • Taisho and Showa gardens
  • Heisei period gardens
  • Summary
  • Periods in pictures


17 pages full of information about the History of Japanese Gardens.
37 pictures of gardens, illustrations, and art.
PDF 12MB
mobi 29MB

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Elements & Explanations