The Sakuteiki, or "Records of Garden Making," was written nearly one thousand years ago. It is the oldest existing text on Japanese gardening—or any kind of gardening—in the world. In this edition of the Sakuteiki the authors provide an English-language translation of this classic work and an introduction to the cultural and historical context that led to the development of Japanese gardening. Central to this explanation is an understanding of the sacred importance of stones in Japanese culture and Japanese garden design.
Written by a Japanese court noble during the Heian period (794-1184), the Sakuteiki includes both technical advice on gardening—much of which is still followed in today's Japanese gardens—and an examination of the four central threads of allegorical meaning, which were integral features of Heian-era garden design. For those seeking inspiration to build a rock garden or just better understand the Japanese stone garden, the Sakuteiki is an enduring classic.
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VISIONS OF THE GARDEN 1
Annex Hall Black Tortoise Blue Dragon Breezeway Buddha Buddhist building built called centimeters Chinese color create deity depicts directional taboos Earth east Eastern edge Emaki emperor evil evoke Fall Festivities FIGURE Four Guardian Gods Fudo Fudo Myoo Fujiwara Fujiwara no Yorimichi garden design Garden Stream gardening style gata geomancy giki Gion Shoja gogyo hashi Heian Heian capital Heian-period Heian-period aristocrats Heian-period gardens Heiankyo hill household ishi island Isle Japan Japanese gardens Kasuga shrine kata Kayanoin Kyoto landscape literally Main Hall meadow means meters Middle Gate model for garden mono imi mountain nature Nihon ochi paintings period pine plants pond priest Pure Land referred residence ritsuryo rituals roof Sakuteiki Sakuteiki was written scene scroll senzui setting stones shape shinden Southern Court southwest Sudatta taboo Toshitsuna trees trigrams veranda waterfall Waterfall Stone wellspring White Tiger willow Yijing Yin and Yang Yin Yang