Create Your Own Japanese Garden: A Practical Guide

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9784770028044: Create Your Own Japanese Garden: A Practical Guide

In this book, renowned garden designer Motomi Oguchi offers the reader a step-by-step, practical approach to creating Japanese gardens, drawn from a wealth of experience that covers thirty years and encompasses the design of more than 400 gardens. The author uses real examples from gardens he has designed, constructed, and photographed to illustrate his key points, approaching each work from the perspective of the home or building owner.

Oguchi begins with front gardens, as these are usually what one encounters first when entering a home. Typically, these front plantings are not defined Japanese garden types but rather, physical areas. He then moves on to tsubo niwa (courtyard gardens) and kare sansui (dry gardens) that might be found in the middle or rear of a building, or any available small space. Next, he introduces tea and tree gardens, which are more likely to be sections of a larger garden; and highlights specific characteristics and conditions of interior gardens.

Within each chapter are general layouts and methods of developing the various gardens, which precede specific, step-by-step instructions. The author also offers practical and affordable variations on more ambitious designs and shows how they can be adapted to the readers home or building. In addition, Oguchi emphasizes the importance of proper maintenance and offers suggestions for special touches and restoration.

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About the Author:


Motomi Oguchi was born in 1947. Since he began his career as a garden designer, he has created about 400 Japanese gardens for homes, temples, and public buildings including the Schloss Schoenbrunn in Vienna and his current project, the Shizen-An spa/retreat on the north fork of Long Island, NY.

His co-author, Joseph Cali, wrote The New Zen Garden published by Kodansha International.

From Publishers Weekly:

Oguchi, longtime designer of Japanese gardens and author of more than 18 books on the subject in Japanese, offers English speakers both an overview and practical knowledge of this easily recognized but to many Westerners mysterious art form. Oguchi describes the Japanese garden's relation to architecture from the ancient era to the mid–19th century, tracing its evolution from the lavish hills, ponds and waterfalls of early estates to the inward-turning, abbreviated and abstracted gardens of urban townhouses. He calls the guidelines of Japanese garden design naturalness, studied tastefulness, and harmony, tempered by flexibility for site conditions, current needs and desires, and self-expression, and presents essential design devices such as asymmetry, miekakure (hide and reveal). Most of the book gives concrete details on how to design and build a garden for the home or small business, using as examples the author's designs for restaurants, homes and his traditional teahouse. With precise instructions and illustrations for building typical elements such as bamboo fences and stone bridges, the book gives Americans all the information they need to create authentic Japanese gardens. The lack of a glossary may make it hard for readers to retain meanings of the many Japanese terms strewn throughout the text. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Motomi Oguchi; Joseph Cali
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Motomi Oguchi; Joseph Cali; Kay Yokota [Translator]
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