Landscapes for Small Spaces: Japanese Courtyard Gardens

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Kodansha International, 2002 - Architecture - 119 pages
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Enjoy it for its sheer beauty or use it for inspiration while creating your own small landscape garden.

Japanese gardening is the art of arranging plants, rocks, lanterns, and basins in an open or, as here, an enclosed space. According to the aesthetic principles long prevailing in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, even two rocks arranged in a tiny, enclosed space can be considered a garden. This type of garden is called a tsuboniwa, and Kyoto has long being considered its birthplace and home. So it is not surprising that photographer Katsuhiko Mizuno, wishing to capture the best of such small gardens, should turn to Kyoto and its palaces, temples, shrines, and town houses.

The highlight of the book is the 100 photographs of these tsuboniwa-snow overlying sand patterns; coloring maple leaves; flowering cherry trees; lanterns, basins, fences; gardens featuring wisteria, azalea, hydrangea, Indian lilac, camellia, and daphne. Each photo is accompanied by an insightful caption pointing out the outstanding characteristics of the garden in question.

An appendix gives Mizuno's instructions for creating a tsuboniwa, based on his personal experience. His account of the underlying concepts, design, choice of plants, and practical procedures will prove a invaluable reference for all garden creators, from amateur to professional.

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User Review  - klaidlaw - LibraryThing

A beautifully photographed book that provides some inspirational photos for building a tsuboniwa or small courtyard garden. The author provides a nice history of the courtyard gardens of Kyoto, and ... Read full review


Kyokusui Garden Matsunoo Shrine
Hokongoin Temple
Ban Residence
Kubo Residence Hyoki
Bokkai Residence
Public Places
Hashimoto Teru Orimono
Wada Residence

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About the author (2002)

KATSUHIKO MIZUNO, born in Kyoto in 1941, graduated from Doshisha University and the Tokyo College of Photography. His camera has been focused on 1,200-year-old Kyoto since 1969, including its scenery, gardens, and architecture. In 2000 he renovated a Kyoto townhouse said to date from the latter half of the Edo period (1603-1867), converting it into a museum housing his photographic works. He is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society and the Japan Society for Arts and History of Photography. Of his many published books in Japanese and English, this is number 101.

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