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The Japanese Tea Garden

Marc Peter Keane

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ISBN 10: 1933330678 / ISBN 13: 9781933330679
Published by Stone Bridge Press, 2009
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Japanese Tea Garden

Publisher: Stone Bridge Press

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Edition: First Edition - may be Reissue.

About this title


"When Marc Peter Keane describes, with poetry and erudition, the experience of the Japanese garden today, he has no peer."—Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi

Almost every Japanese garden is influenced by the tea garden. Marc Peter Keane describes the history, design, and aesthetics of tea gardens, from T’ang China to the present day, with over one hundred stunning photographs, floor plans, and illustrations. The most extensive book on this genre ever published in English, The Japanese Tea Garden is a rich resource for garden lovers, landscape designers, and architects—and anyone who admires the striking aesthetic of the Japanese garden.

From the Inside Flap:

In this richly illustrated volume, designer and author Marc Peter Keane looks at how social, religious, aesthetic, and philosophical influences combined over hundreds of years to produce one of the world's most transcendent forms of landscape art. The Japanese tea garden today is immediately recognizable for its elegant gates, stepping stones, lanterns, water basins, mossy ground, and other elements in a setting resembling a forest path. Yet in its purest form, the purpose of this path, or roji, is to transport the visitor from the everyday world to the rarified realm of the tea ceremony, chanoyu. The tea garden is thus a physical as well as spiritual space, and its powerful cultural role has led its design and materials to influence almost every other form of garden art in Japan.

The Japanese Tea Garden looks first at the background that set the stage for the emergence of the roji: the history of tea drinking, the importation of Chinese culture, including Zen Buddhism, and early architecture and garden spaces in Japan. It then examines Japan from the 15th and 16th centuries, focusing on the rise of military families and wealthy merchants, two powerful classes whose exchange of sensibilities created key aesthetic and artistic tendencies in the development of tea culture and the roji. Also introduced are the efforts of tea masters and artists -- like Murata Shukô, Takeno Jôô, and Sen Rikyû, and later Furuta Oribe and Kobori Enshû -- to foster lasting, rigorous standards of design and practice.

The last third of the book shows how the roji has continued to evolve. It introduces many of the other garden types influenced by the tea garden, such as imperial gardens and expansive stroll gardens of wealthy individuals, and the smaller gardens of inns and modern residences. Finally, it looks at all the elements of the tea garden, from pathways to plantings, as evidence of how the simple roji has become ever more sophisticated and complex.

The most extensive treatment of its subject yet published in English, The Japanese Tea Garden contains detailed notes and references with primary-source Japanese transcriptions, as well as a glossary, bibliography, and index. Over 115 full-color photographs and line drawings accompany the text.

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