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Wybe Kuitert Themes, Scenes, and Taste in the History of Japanese Garden Art

Leiden University Japonica Neerlandica Series Vol.3, 1988 Gieben Publishers, Amsterdam

ISBN 90-5063-021-9

CONTENTS

Preface

ix

PART ONE : "THEMES"

Chapter1: The Heian Period: Gardens and Aristocrats ,

an

Introductio n

3

Chapter2: Palace Gardens

5

2.1

Palace

Architectur e

5

2.2

Palace

Gardens,Tosanjöden

10

2. 3

Palace Gardens Illustrated on ScrollPaintings

12

Chapter3: Temple Gardens

21

3.1 Gardens asAristocratic Culture

Temple

21

3.2 Gardens,Mötsu-ji

Temple

2

3

Chapter4: Noblesand Their Nature : The Beginnings ofa Garden Theory

28

4.1 Gardening asa Noble Pursuit

4.

4.

3

4

28

32

39

4

4.2 ANobleman's Study , The Garden ManualSakuteiki Divination and Adapting t o Nature Themes: An Interpretatio n

6

4.5

The Poetic Ideal of Loneliness

59

PAR T TWO: "SCENES"

Chapter1: Developments in Mediaeval Garden Ar t in thei r Historical Contex t

6

3

1.1 From a Courtly t o aMilitary Aristocracy: The Kamakura Period (1185-1334 )

6

3

1.2 The Formatio n of th e Scenic Garden: The Muromachi Period unti l th e ÖninWar (1334-1467 )

64

Chapter2: Landscape Consciously Conceived asArt : Song China

7 0

2.1 Song Society and Landscape Painting

70

2.2 Song

Landscape Painting's Inspiration

72

Chapter3: Early Zen in Japan

80

3.1 Political and Cultural Role of th e Zen Institution s

3.2 The Irïpor rtance of Musö Kokushi for th e Early Mediaeval Gardeji Art

Chapter 4: Th i Early Mediaeval Chinese Inspiration

4.1 Landscape Scenery and its Chinese Literary Inspiration

4.2 Scenic Aspects in th e Garden and thei r Chinese Inspiration :

Tenry ï-ji

4.3 The Mediaeval Scenic Garden and its Appreciation

Chapter 5 : The Small Scenic Garden in Late Mediaeval Times

5.1 The Mediaeval Cultural Salon

5.2 The Subtemple

5.3 Small Scenic Gardens in Subtemples and thei r Historicity

Chapter 6: Sorhe Historical Small Scenic Gardens

6.1 The S ; lbtemple Daisen-in

6.2 The Slbtemple Ryöan-ji

6.3 The Slbtemple Reiun-in

6.4 The Estate of Warlord Asakura

Chapter 7: Laie Mediaeval Garden Making

7.1 Low CflassGardening Professionals

7.2 The Manual SansuinarabiniYakeizu

Chapter8: Interpretatio n

8.1 TheS penic Garden

8.2 The Zen Garden

PARTTHREE:

TASTE"

Chapter1: Thfe Sixteent h Century : Beginnings of th e Romanti c View on Natur e

1.1 TraveiingPoets and th e Discovery of Scenic Beauty

1.2

1.3 Townspeople and th e Urban Ways

1.4 Early |Urban Natur e Romanticism

Chapter2: Th Turn of th e Century : Early Origins of Modern Galrden Art

The hermit Ideal

2.1 Tea and Politics

80

81

84

84

86

94

99

99

103

105

110

110

114

124

126

132

132

137

145

145

150

163

163

166

168

169

173

173

2.

3

Descriptions of th e Tea Garden

176

2. 4 An Exoti c Mood

176

2.5 The Tea Garden in th e Daimyö's Residence

178

2.6 New Garden Materials, aModern Language of For m

182

2.7 The Tea Garden asa Concept , aModern Approach t o Garden Design

Chapter3: The Early Seventeenth Century : Origins of th e Modern Appreciation

185

188

3.1 The Shogunate Sponsors th e Imperial Imagination

188

3.2 The Garden asa Scenery of Imagination

191

3.3 Kyoto' s Nobility Discovers th e Romantic Countryside

200

3.4 Landscape Views Borrowed asPart of th e Garden Scenery 20 4

Chapter4: AModern Approach inGarden Design

21 0

4.1 Modern Garden Design: a Definition

21 0

4.2 Early Modern Design asan Intellectual Specialism

21 0

4.

3

The Commissioner of Public Works,Kobori EnshO

21

1

4.

4

The Commissioner and th e Designer

212

4.5 The Drawing asPart of th e Modern Design Method

21 4

4.6 The Early Modern Garden Makers

219

4.7 The Modern Productio n of Garden Art ,Konchi-in

221

ChapterS: Taste : An Interpretatio n

 

228

5.1 Beauty in Simplicity

229

5.2 Creating of New Values of Beauty

23 3

5.3 Fro m Poetic Loneliness t o th e Creation of Patina

5.4 Creativity

5.5 Creativity within Simplicity, Kohô-an

SUMMARY ANDCONCLUSIONS

235

241

24 4

25 3

Notes

to the text

259

Notes

to the illustrations

327

List of Japanese wordsusedin the text

References

331

33 3

PREFACE

Japanes e garden s are , no t only amon g landscape architects , well known as on e of th e mor e fascinating expressions of landscap e ar t th e world ha s t o offer. It is regrettabl e that , in spit e of thei r fame , th e backgroun d of garde n ar t in Japa n isso ill-understood . Well known book s o n th e subject offer no t muc h mor e tha n superficial opinion s o n th e symbolic meaning of Japanes e gardens ; at its best they tell us stories , hardl y seeming t o be probable , of garde n makin g priests who expressed th e profoun d meaning of th e universe in th e materia l forms of th e roc k garden s the y supposedly mad e with thei r own hands . Th e research tha t led t o th e present work started , in all its ignorance , as an attemp t t o get beyond thi s popula r com- prehensio n of Japanes e garde n art . On e of th e first steps was t o d o away with th e view tha t take s th e Japanes e people as being fundamentally different from Occidentals . It is commo n philosoph y amon g landscap e architect s tha t th e Japanes e created thei r garden s in harmon y with natur e an d tha t Western ma n o n th e con- trar y conquere d natur e for which, as evidence, th e formal French garde n isusually presented . Althoug h th e present work does no t touc h upo n such philosophies , it implicitly rejects them . It seems t o me tha t a n analysis of 'th e difference ' between Western an d Japanes e garde n maker s only con- firms existing misunderstandings . Therefor e I hav e departe d from th e viewpoint tha t th e histor y of Japanes e garden s mus t be interprete d as a stor y of peopl e dealin g with natur e —whether conquerin g o r in harmon y with it —jus t as we speak abou t th e histor y of garde n ar t in Europe . In th e present work , therefore , one comes acros s ideas found in Japan' s garde n histor y tha t ar eals ocommo n in th eWest, althoug h i t ha s no t been my purpos e t o mak e these parallel s explicit. As a landscap e architec t I am , of course , abov e all interested in th e garde n a sa product , somethin g tha t ismad eby peopl et o satisfy th e needs of others . An owner of a garde n may need it for certai n reason s of utility . His needs can also be a worldly desire t o display , o r a craving for mor e abstrac t qualities —of beaut y for instance — foun d in th e arrangement s of natura l features in th e garden . Thi s way of looking a t garde n ar t is reflected in th e book . It views garden s from th e standpoin t of th e owner who wanted hisneedst o befulfilled, an d on th e othe r han d from th e poin t of view of th e garde n make r who knew how t o creat e it . It soon became obviou s tha t only research int o th e histor y of th e ar t

could give furt 1er insight int o these questions , as all th e famed garden s in Japa n ar e ol 1.But history is a difficult matter , particularl y th e history of anythin g lil e Japanes e garde n art . Ther e is a grea t abundanc e of historic materi ; 1: old descriptions of gardens , th e old garden s themselves, no t t o mentio n therecent excavations tha t uncovered ancient garde n sites. Studies o n th e i ubject, in Japanes e an d Western languages , fill many well- stacked boo k ! helves, even when on e does no t consider th e less serious works . It was clear from the very star t tha t a choice ha d t o be mad e an d tha t Iha d t o m ikea selection, if Iwast o mak e any senseou t of th e wealth of material . Accordingly I selected thre e mai n themes ou t of th e many centuries tha t Japan' s garden histor y counts ; choosing subjects tha t seemed, a t first sight, of inter e t for the moder n landscap e architect . Firs t of all I concen- trate d upo n thi garde n world tha t brough t fort h th e first garde n manua l in Japan , th e f rst probabl y in th e world , th e eleventh centur y Sakuteiki. Secondly, I mide an inquir y int o th e little cour t garden s of Japan' s mediaeval age ha t employ only bar e sand , rocks an d sparse plantation . This style of g trden, referred t o as karesansui, 'dr y landscape' , features abstrac t forms ha t appea l t o th etwentiet h century designer. Finally , Iwas struck by some early seventeenth century garden s in Kyoto . Th e composi - tion of forms i1 these garden s shows intellectual qualities tha t I found as moder n as if f om ou r times .

Th e histor y of Japanes e garde n ar t does no t end in the seventeenth cen- tury . Th e eigh eenth an d the first half of th e nineteent h century showed

a decline in cr ;ativity an d an increasing reliance on standar d composi -

tiona l ideas . Tl emanneris m of thi s century-and-a-hal f went togethe r with

th e growing p<pularit y of th e art . Th e techniques of gardenin g quickly

developed int o a nationwid e professional practice . In thi s time a popula r interest in thi historica l garden s came about . Many , mor e or less systematic, pi tur e book s were edited , in which many falsifications

originat e tha t 1 ave left thei r mark s o n research in th e field unti l abou t th e

1860's on , a growing wave of informatio n

o n Western ga den ar t reached Japan , which brough t fort h a rich variety

of forms an d k eas . However , th etraditiona l practic ean d forms of garde n

o be meaningful an d were by n o means overwhelmed or

replaced . Jap a lese garde n ar t could continu e t o develop an d is a living traditio n even in ou r moder n age of technology . Thi s can only be understoo d in elatio n with th e formative period s in its history . Th e early seventeenth ceitur y was crucial in thi s respect , because a practic e of garden ar t car ie int o existence in thi s period tha t was moder n in man y

ar t continue d

Second Worl d War. Fro m th e

ways. Thing s like th e understandin g of qualitie s of natura l beauty , bu t also the social relation s of th e garde n owner, designer, an d make r in th e seventeenth century cultura l world of Kyot o ar e already established in a fully moder n sense. This is the reason tha t th e boo k is concluded with thi s period . However , t o placeth e modernit y of th e early moder n perio d in its context , t o see the achievement an d t o understan d how it came about , it prove d t o be necessary t o include th e part s on th e ancient Heia n perio d an d thos e on th e mediaeval age . Searching for a n answer t o th e questio n of modernity , th e present boo k treat s only th e thre e fragments of Japan' s garde n history as mentioned above . It is therefor e no t a continuou s recor d of all the events an d evolu- tion s of th e past ; neither is it a compilatio n of th e single historie s of each an d every garde n in Japan , althoug h some exemplary specimens ar e treate d at length .

Fo r knowledge of th e facts of Japan' s garde n history I have relied on th e research of many respectable scholars . Some of these ar e professionally active in th e field of Japanes e garde n history . Th e work s of tw o of the m ar e currentl y used , an d I feel tha t they should be shortly introduce d t o th e reader . I foun d th e studie s of Mor i Osamu mos t reliable , the y ar e t o th e point , if no t somewhat dry . In th e last twenty years or soprofesso r Mori' s research o n garden s ha s departe d from th e excavatio n work s he ha s guid- ed . Earlier pre-war work s rely mor e o n documentar y evidence. Th e thirty-six volume work Nihon teienshi taikei, a titl e tha t can b e translate d as "A n Outlin e of th e Histor y of Japanes e Gardens" , written by Shigemori Mirei an d his son Shigemori Kant o shoul d also be mention - ed . It is a compilatio n of histories of almost all of the extan t garden s of any significance in Japan . Many garden s have vanished an d a great deal of informatio n o n th e history of th e ar t is found in document s tha t ar e no t related t o any of th e still existing gardens ; these point s ar e no t systematically dealt with in thi s work , althoug h several chapter s of a general natur e tr y t o compensat e for this . It is , however, a n importan t boo k of reference. Both of th e abov e mentione d author s trea t the subject as a research int o th e factual history of th e Japanes e gardens . They give answers on ques - tion s of attributio n an d datin g of gardens . On e hardl y finds any informa - tio n abou t th e significance garden s ha d t o th e societies an d culture s in which they came about , something tha t I found most intriguing . However, othe r sources hav ecovered thi s matte r t o a certai n extent , a s th e reade r will discover in th e course of th e book .

Lookin g back bve r th e years tha t I hav e worked on thi s research an d th e book , I recall ill the peopl e who hav e helped me in variou s ways . Most of mygratitu d :isaddressed toward s mydirect teachers , whoin th e cours e of time becar ie good friends; t o professo r Nakamur a Makoto , wh o understoo d be ter tha n I wher e th e roa d I ha d chosen was leading to , an d received me hespitably as a research fellow in his Institut e of Landscap e Architectur e a th e Kyot o University for almos t four years ; t o professo r Shirahat a Yôz ibur ô from th e same Institute , whose active interest an d help with diff cult Japanes e was of grea t support ; t o professor Met o Vroom (Wagei ingen) , my teacher of landscap e architectur e who , besides

general advise , stressed th e importanc e of illustrativ e maps , drawings , an d photograph s it th e book , an d wh o received me a s a visiting member of th e Departme n of Landscap e Architectur e a t th e Agricultura l University in Wageninger durin g th e last half year of my work ; an d t o professo r Willem van G i lik of th e Nationa l Museum of Ethnolog y in Leiden , who

initiate d me in

an d introductie ns greatly helped in setting u p th e research as a whole . Ther e ar e a 1 irgenumbe r of othe r people , friends an d institutions , who

hav e assisted ir bringin g thi s boo k about . I wan t t o express my apprecia -

tio n for assistai

Tetsuya ; an d a so the students , an d th e staff member s Jöda i Kazue an d Mitsud a Michi)oof th e Institut e of Landscap e Architectur e at th e Univer- sity of Kyoto , 'ifho challenged me with thei r questions , an d helped me in man y ways t o i ind th e answers t o my own questions , an d no t in th e last place because they teste d my Japanes e an d improve d it whenever necessary; t o N ar c Keane , wh o rea d th e manuscript s critically an d cor- rected th e Eng ish , likewise t o Lind a Beukers-Smith for th e finishing touche s in th i respect ; t o professo r Har a Toshihik o an d professo r Ishikawa Mitsu lob u wh o bot h helped me readin g old Japanes e texts ; t o

professor Wim 3oot for valuabl e advise o n th e practic e of research in th e

field of Japane , e studies ; t o It ô Taiichi , professo r Iwatsub o Gorö , Fran s Rip , Takimot o Yoshihiko , an d Phili p Wenting , wh o all helped me with th e variou s pr o )lems of wor d processing ; t o Umehar a Chik a wh o type d par t of th ema n iscript;t o professor Kat öKunio wh othroug h his seminars quickly introdn :ed me in th e histor y of Japan' s architecture ; t o Noo r Boeseman who pelped me set u p th e research an d provide d me with man y

useful subject Hiromasa , who of the Foreign Michiko of th e

Japan-Netherla i ids Institute ; an d t o Hosh i Masachiyo , miss Futahashi ,

he field of Japanes e Studies , an d whoseactive engagement

cereceived: t o professor s Yoshida Hironob u an d Yoshida

eferences; t o Bernar d Jeanne l an d professor Amazak i showed me th e way t o th e Kyot o University ; t o th e staff Student Service at th e University of Kyoto ; t o Tama i Tourist Informatio n Cente r in Kyoto ; t o th e staff of th e

an d mister Kajitani for teaching me many details of th e ar t of gardenin g in — an d th e histor y of — th e Imperia l Garden s in Kyoto . Last , bu t of course no t in th e least I would like t o than k my parents , an d my wife Norik o an d my son Kense for thei r loving car e an d menta l support . Withou t them thi s boo k would probabl y never have been writ- ten .

Notes t o th e reader : In Japanes e th e family nam e is followed by th e given name , also in th e present work . Th e curren t usage may deviate from thi s principl e for certai n historica l persons , in which case I have kept t o th e existing practice . Also for romanization s I hav e adhere d t o th e usual transscription s of th e Japanes e an d Chinese. Macrons , as in Tokyo , in- dicat e tha t th e vowel o, sometimes als o u, should be slightly prolonge d in pronunciation .

PARTONE

CHAPTER 1

TH E HEIA N PERIOD :

GARDENS AND ARISTOCRATS , AN INTRODUCTIO N

In the year 794 of th e Christia n er a th e seat of Japan' s imperia l govern- ment was moved t o a newly constructe d city, Heiankyö , or , th e capita l Heian . Th e nam e of th e city is applied t o th e historica l period of imperial reign tha t begins in 794 an d lasted unti l 1185 when th e dynasties fell an d a military government cameint o existence.Althoug h theempero r reigned, actua l power was mostly in th e hand s of powerful ministers , who , with a few exceptions , were all members of a single clan , th e Fujiwara . Making clever use of the existing marriag e customs they managed in th e end t o completely dominat e th e imperial family, althoug h they never laid claims t o th e imperial throne . Th e epoch of th e late tent h and th e eleventh cen- tury became the most gloriou s one for the Fujiwar a regents . It is also th e age when classical cultur e was brough t t o maturity . Garde n ar t reached standard s tha t proved t o beth e origins of a great tradition . This first par t of th e book deals therefor e with thi s period of cultura l 'flourishing , roughly the tent h an d eleventh centuries. 1 It was first of all literatur e tha t attaine d grea t heights , no t only setting classical standard s for th e following centuries , bu t also pervadin g th e Fu- jiwar a society itself. Th e Fujiwara' s devoted themselves endlessly t o com- positio n of poetry , bot h in privat e an d in compan y of others , for instance at poetr y contests , where teams were called upo n t o compose on given themes . Tales an d diaries , often writte n by women , formed th e othe r half of Heian' s flourishing literary world . But these works again ar e usually rich in poetr y an d poeti c idiom. 2 Poetr y was such an all-pervading medium tha t it was decisive for prope r etiquett e an d even formed th evehi- cle for expressing huma n feelings. 3 I t is the conclusion of par t one of thi s work tha t themes of poetr y also affected garde n art . Wewill seeinth e course of th e following pageshow th e Fujiwara' s used their garden s as a stage on which splendid festivals an d gorgeous ceremonies too k place. 4 Their gardens , like th e buildings of the Heian palaces , formed an integral par t of th e elegant way of life of th e Heian nobles . They never saw it as somethin g separate d from themselves an d therefor e did not appreciat e a garde n as an outsid e form . Fo r them it was

emotionally e:

of their

forms an d quiry is mad e

perienced from within , immersed a sthey were in th e beauty

gard e is It is Heia n poetr y tha t bridged th e ga p between garde n

hulna n emotions . But before we reach thi s conclusion a n in- nt o th e actua l appearanc e of th e garden s an d int o th e ways came int o existence.

in which they

CHAPTER 2

PALAC E GARDEN S

This chapte r deals with th e garden s as they existed in th e late r Heia n period palaces of th e noblemen . Th e actua l appearanc e is reconstructe d in orde r t o give an idea of what these garden s looked like. In passing we will not e how th e palac e gardens were used . We tur n first t o th e palace architecture , of which th e garden s formed a part .

2.1 PALACE ARCHITECTURE

In th e early centuries of th e Heia n period th e architectur e of Japanes e stately buildings was closely inspired by th e Chinese model (fig. I). 5 Th e large compoun d of th e Imperial palac e for instance , in which ministries an d othe r governmenta l institution s were housed , was laid ou t according t o principles of monumenta l symmetry . Also th e buildings themselves were in th e Chinese style of painte d wood an d erected on stone founda - tions . Th e roof s were tiled . Off th e centra l axis , deviating from th e Chinese symmetry, laid th e actua l imperial residence (fig. 2) . Thi s was again a complex of buildings , in pla n view symmetrically arranged . However, from th e very origin of palace architectur e in Japa n th e buildings of th e imperia l residence kept strongly t o native traditions , an d the Heia n palace formed n oexception . Th e buildings of th eresidence were of plain wood tha t was no t painted ; roof s were covered with bar k shingles. Pillar s were simply dug in th e ground , in th e old primitive way. 6 In th e later centuries of th e Heia n perio d th e imperia l residence began t o depar t from the symmetric lay out . Asymmetry an d th e overall ap - pearanc e of unpainte d wood became typical features . In due course , th e imperial palaces came t o inspire th e designs of palatia l residences of high rankin g government officials. Th e regula r residence of a middl e class aristocra t in th e late r Heia n period occupied a plo t of land of on e chô, which equals roughl y one hec- tare . It was surrounde d by a wall with several gates , usually in th e south , east an d west, an d no t on th e nort h side. 7 In front of th e mai n hall (shinderi) was , as with an emperor' s palace , an open space for th e staging

• •E° 3

•DD G DDD D

HD 1

Sr res Shops

D

D

• g

I

U l

Office \

BS D

~ "DD

FIGUR E 1. Ph n of the large compoun d of the Imperia l Palace , referred t o as

daidairi, or The Grea t Palac e Enclosure . The Chödö-i n was an official audience

hall with a larg

contests . The H ian shrine in the centre of moder n Kyot o is a nineteenth century

reconstructio n

: courtyard , the Burakui n was a compoun d for celebrations and

f the Chödö-i n a t half of its original size.

ûl e

loon.

FIGUR E 2 . P I nof th e Imperia l Residence, th edairi. The Shishinden wasthe for-

mal meeting hall

where th e Empero r daily held his discussions with primar y of-

ficials. The pre>ent

imperial Palac e in Kyoto is an accurat e nineteenth century

reconstructio n

f

the Imperia l Residence.

of annua l ceremonial festivities. On the east or west, an d sometimes on bot h sides, of th e sout h facing mai n hall were annexes (tainoya), con- nected t o it with corridor s (watarirö). Fro m these annexes one or two galleries could lead int o th e garde n toward s garde n pavilions , so tha t th e whole complex of buildings surrounde d the open site for th e festivities. Gates in th e garde n galleries gave access t o th e site . All of th e buildings were raised on pillar s above th e ground . In front of thi s complex of buildings was a large pon d with one or mor e islands in it , something tha t was lacking in th e mor e official imperial palace .

The palatia l architectur e of th e Heia n aristocrat s was defined by Sawada Natari , a n early nineteent h century scholar on architectur e as a symmetric arrangemen t in his "Variou s Thought s on Houses " (Kaoku Zakkö, 1842).An illustratio n went with th e descriptio n in thi s source an d became a standar d illustratio n for publication s on Heia n garden s (see fig. 3). In spite of th e prevalence of thi s representatio n of classical palac e ar - chitecture , it must nevertheless be considered a n idealized simplification showing a symmetrical lay ou t tha t may have been archetypical , bu t was hardl y ever found in reality . Mor e recent research has shown tha t palaces were mostly asymmetrically planned . Certainly they were no t symmetric in th e late r Heian period , when man y famous , splendid garden s were built . Th e nineteent h centur y illustratio n therefor e doesno t serve ou r pur - pose with regar d t o symmetry , it only gives a n idea of the appearanc e of Heian palac e architectur e with its halls an d pavilions connected by galleries all standin g elevated abov e th e groun d on stilts. 8 A reaso n t o refrain from symmetry when laying ou t a palac e was th e need t o adap t t o th e natura l topograph y of a site . Layou t was of course also dictate d by convenience of th e organizatio n of entrances , room s an d corridors . Finally , Japanes e author s like t o poin t ou t a dislike for sym- metry in othe r aspects of Japan' s cultura l life, suggesting a mor e general aversion of symmetry in th e Japanes e genius. 9 Betha t asit may , organiza - tion of space in relatio n t o th e existing conditions , such asth e topograph y

of a site , must hav e played an importan t rol e in th e formatio n

freedom in lay out . One of th e palaces of the Fujiwar a regents will be described in some detail below t o illustrat e th e abov e statement . Th e Tösanjöde n Palac e was inhabite d by several successive generation s of th e Fujiwar a clan . It was even so importan t tha t it was used at a certain time as a temporar y residence for a n emperor . Th e palac e is often men- tione d in contemporar y sources or depicted in paintings . Fro m sources like these its appearanc e can be understoo d in quit e some detail , so tha t even a pla n view was draw n of its mai n buildings (see fig. 4). 1 0 Th e land on which th e Tösanjöde n Palac e was built was roughl y a hundre d meters

of a certai n

DgD

/F W

( H -,

TT-rn

t î T•

FIGUR E 4 . Pla n of the palace Tösanjöden . It shows th e main hall , almost cen- tral , with th e large annex on the east side situate d o n the right from it in th e plan . The buildings face th e pon d with itsthre e islands . Only the roofs of th e major halls ar e indicated with a screen tone . Connecting galleries were also roofed , (n.m . = natura l mound ; w. = natura l well; m.h . = main hall ; p . =pond. )

10

t o west, an d twice as larg e from nort h t o south . As for th e ie palace was thu s doubl e th e size of a middle class courtly ivooded hillock with a spring at its foot , bot h natura l

features , were in th e south-west corne r of th e plot. " Hillock an d spring

were incorpo i ited as garden-like feature s in th e tota l lay out . Slightly

nort h of thi s

building used as an entranc e porch , receptio n rooms , etc .

Th e west side

ting part s of

wide from eas plot of land , t residence. A

was i th e mai n entranc e in th e west wall , togethe r with connec-

ti e

'aced th e nearby imperial palace , which must hav e been th e

motivatio n t o locate th e main entranc e on thi s side . Th e seat of honou r

in th e main h

Th e seat was c ccupied by th e hos t of the house , tha t would hav e been the Empero r hims;lf at a certai n period of time . Th e host faced th e guests in

11 lies on th e easter n half of it , oriente d toward s th e west.

thi s way, whei with th e

A garde n pi nd lies t o th e south , which is th e usua l arrangemen t as we

will see in a1 tha t is th e on e

thi s pavilion d rectly in view. It formed a stage for musicians who played

at festivals or it was used as a moorin g place for pleasur e boats . Th e use

of th e palac e

discussed in

hillock was a l o appreciate d so tha t thi s was anothe r reason t o locat e th e

seat of honou r

spatial organ i atio n of th e palac e buildings of Tösanjöden .

they entered th e main hall from th e ant e room s connected

section of th e whole compound . ' 2

entra ic e

te r chapter . Only on e garde n pavilion is present , though , o n th e west side . Lookin g from th e seat of honou r one ha d

ensiswell illustrate d by contemporar y painting s tha t ar e chapte r 2.3 . One can imagine tha t th e sight of th e natura l

facing it . Such factor s were decisive for an asymmetric

2.2 PALACE (iARDENS, TÖSANJÖDEN

Th e splendid

spacious pond garde n such as a t th e Tösanjöde n Palace . One may speak

in terms of a

typical courtl j garde n ha d a pon d with island(s) , a n open are a in front of

th e main hall

garde n of th e Tösanjöden Palac e will be discussed a s a representativ e ex-

ampl e of th e

Facing th e main hall of Tösanjöde n laid th e open area . I t was , as always, covered with a layer of white sand .' 4 Behind it laid th e pon d with ,

in thi s case, the e islands . Slightly off th e centra l axis of th e mai n hall laid

across th e water leading t o th e largest island . This bridge

was an arched one lacquered with vermilion . As usual , it was laid askew, diverging fror L a line perpendicula r t o th e facade of th e main hall . Two

th e first brid g

esidences of th e Heia n courtl y noble s usually possessed a

'garde n type ' because of certai n standar d elements . Th e

an d a littl e garde n strea m emptying int o th e pond . Th e

iristocrati c pon d garde n (fig. 5).' 3

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12

mor e bridges c f mor e simple design connected th e tw o remainin g islands

t o thelarge on< th e thir d islanc

bridg e could b : removed t o let pleasur e boat s pass through , or maybe t o block access tc th e islands from th e back . A natura l well existed a t th e foot of a natui al moun d in th e southwest corne r of th e compound . This was a typical f lature of th e Tösanjöde n Palace , althoug h garden s mostly ha d a natura l source of runnin g water . We will retur n t o thi s poin t in chapte r 4.3 of this par t one . The buildinj s of Tösanjöde n were arrange d in such a way tha t th e natura l well laii below th e poin t where th e main complex was connected t o th e gallery leading t o th e garde n pavilion . Th e water from this , reportedl y ove flowing, spring was led t o th e nort h unde r th e buildings elevated on sti! ts, t o ru n back toward s th e sout h unde r th e annexes east of the mai n haII. Fro m thi s poin t th e strea m was actually designed as a typical garde n trea m (yarimizu), with natura l rock s set here an d ther e in an d along it . R anning alon g th e easter n side of th e sand covered stretch ,

in front . Finally ther ewasa bridg ea t th e back , connecting with th e pon d shor e a t th e rear . Th e middle section of thi s

it finally empt ed int o th e north-eas t corne r of th e pond . Th e groun d aroun d thi s strea m was shaped in gently rising an d falling low garde n mound s tha t h; d some groun d cover in which a spars e plantin g was set. South of th e m ii n hall th e stream could be crossed by one stone bridge ,

a natura l slab , sandy stretch ,

after having entered throug h th e gat e in th e eastern garde n gallery . Her e an d th e ealong th e pon d shor e ther e were simple arrangement s of natura l rocks . 11 few solitar y trees stoo d on th e san d covered open space . Otherwise planin g was only found on th e island , an d on th e groun d forms a t th e st earn . Apar t from th e natura l woo d o n th e hillock in th e south-west , th a was largely left as it was found , decorative plantin g an d rock work was icattered an d sparse , something tha t is confirmed by con- temporar y picti irial representation s of gardens. 1 6

ind two plan k bridges . Over these bridges one entered th e fter having descended th e stair s of th e easter n annex , or

2.3 PALACE GVRDENSILLUSTRATED ON SCROLL PAINTINGS

Th e appearancje of th e Tösanjöde n Palac e was reconstructe d from

descriptions an l depictions . I used it as a representativ e example t o in- troduc e some rjarticular features of th e Heia n pon d garde n as found in

th e courtl y aristocracy . Illustration s of garden s in contem -

residences of

porar y painting s give u s a clearer ide a of thei r appearance . Illustrativ e d pictions of Heia n garden s ar e foun d on painte d scrolls of

13

the period . These ar e in fact painte d stories showing a series of scenes tha t stan d in relatio n t o each other. 1 7 In rar e cases written word s will accom- pany the pictures , but at the scrolls in which we find th e gardens il- lustrate d ther e ar e n o captions . Each of the scenes shows something tha t relates t o th e subject matte r of the story told in th e scroll as a whole . Th e scenes showing garden s ar e therefor e first of all painte d for thei r narrativ e purpose . Th e narrativ e message will be in the activities of th e person s but t o what extent the message lies in th e garden represented remain s a ques- tion . Small scale scenes of a romanti c natur e showing a few person s in th e setting of a n intimat e garde n carr y withou t much doub t stron g narrativ e messages. In these cases the subject matte r of the scroll is always fic- tional. 18 Such scenes show the mor e intimat e courtyard s at th e back of the main hall in between buildings an d galleries. A single tree , o r a few low plant s ar e all th e garden-lik e details tha t ar e indicated . Large scale scenes tha t show official, public , or historic occasions ar e lesslikely depending on illustrativ e methods . Such scenes ar e shown in th e sections of scrolls discussed below. Fro m these we may assume tha t they mor e or less faithfully show the rea l appearanc e of a garde n in th e Heian period . Th e large open space in front of th e main hall is the main groun d for the festive or ceremonial gatherings of the nobles , the pon d is used for boating , an d th e island and pavilions as a stage for musicians . These festive events originate d from th e perennial rites of th e early emperors , when ruling was still a matte r of magic and gods , rathe r tha n politics . In the late Heian period these had developed int o something in between an official ceremony and an elegant festivity, that , t o be honest , could tur n int o mor e prosai c celebrating. 1 9

One of th e annua l ceremonial festivities staged in a n aristocrat' s garden is shown in a scroll paintin g title d "Pictur e Scroll of th e Pon y Contes t a t th e Imperia l Visit " (Komakurabe Gyökö Emakî) (see fig. 6). 2 0 Th e scroll relates in picture s the historica l visit tha t th e Empero r Go-Ichij o (1016 - 1045) pai d in 1024 t o his chief advisor (kampaku) Yorimichi of th e Fujiwara clan . Th e palac e shown in thi s illustratio n was Yorimichi' s Kaya-in Palace . Mor e detail s abou t thi s place ar e known from othe r sources , details tha t will be discussed in a later section of thi s work . T o entertai n th e Empero r an d on th e occasion of his visit a gran d ceremonial contest of little horses was held . This standar d festivity was always held on th e fifth day of th e fifth mont h in th e luna r calendar , roughly cor- respondin g t o a day in July on ou r moder n solar calendar . In spite of thi s indicatio n of th e time chrysanthemum s ar e shown blossoming and th e

FIGUR E 6. A sceneshowing

tur e Scroll of the Pon y Th eillustratio n isdescr

par t of th e garde n at th e palace Kaya-in in the "Pic-

contest at th e Imperia l Visit " (painted fourteent h century) ,

bedin th etext (trace d from a reproductio n of th eoriginal) .

15

leaves of maples ar e shown in autum n colours . Th e artis t may have

wanted t o stress th e beaut y of th e garden . In th e middle of the picture ,

in th e uppe r half, one may not e th e lower par t of th e main building of the

palace . Stair s lead u p from thegarde n t o asquar e platfor m elevated above

th e floor on shor t legs. Thi s is the seat of th e Emperor , who is no t visible.

At his right side Advisor Yorimichi himself is seated , othe r noble s sit on

th e veranda . Th e cushion-like bags bulging ou t unde r th e screens tha t

han g in th e open walls of the hall t o the left an d th e right of the stair s ar e

in fact no t bags bu t th e elaborat e dresses of courtl y ladies , no t allowed by

etiquett e t o expose mor e of themselves. 2 1

At th e left side of th e picture , a gallery with a pavilion jut s ou t int o th e garden an d over th e pond . Atemporar y platfor m isset u p in th e pavilion .

In

th e garde n pon d in front of th e main hall , tw o boat s ar e poled abou t

by

young cour t pages with thei r hair done in a Chinese manner , as certain

record s state . One may also not e th e costumed musicians who sit in the boats , beatin g thei r drum s and blowing their flutes . The boats , also in a Chinese fashion , have thei r sterns modeled as th e heads of a drago n an d

a phoenix . An arche d vermilion bridg e leads t o th e opposit e shore , likely

an island , on which mor e drum s ar e set up , as well as a temporar y tent

used, as wemay guess, t o house th e drummer s an d othe r musicians. 2 2 Th e shore of th e pon d is designed with inlets an d peninsula's . Rocks ar e scarce . An interesting detail is th e depicting of th e couples of cranes an d

turtle s tha t play here an d ther e along th e edge of the water . It can no t be

a realistic representatio n of live animals . Perhap s these ar e artificial

garde n figures as ha s been suggested or otherwise it ispar t of th e painter' s idiom with a deeper meaning. 2 3 Solitary trees of differing species stand here an d there ; maple an d pine trees ar e determinabl e beyond any doubt ,

bu t othe r kinds of trees ar e also indicated .

A scroll titled "Pictur e Scroll of the Annua l Rites an d Ceremonies "

(Nenjü GyOjiEmaki) shows th e series of annua l festivities an d ceremonies celebrated amon g th e courtl y aristocracy . A section titled "Visi t of th e Feudal Lord s t o th e Emperor " (Chökin Gyökö) shows par t of a garden

(see fig. 7). 2 4 Th e overall compositio n of th e pictur e is similar t o th e one discussed above . Again only th e lower sections of the main hal l ar e shown

an d only th e sand stretc h and adjoinin g pon d edge of th e garde n can be

seen. It must have been th e most practica l way t o represent any scene tak - ing place in front of a main hall , th e size of any scene on a scroll was

limited an d tended t o be narro w an d elongated . Th e palace , of which par t

is shown in thi s second picture , was th e Höjüji-de n Palace , where th e

politically powerful Empero r Go-Shirakaw a (1132 - 1198) was in

FIGUR E 7. A garden tur e Scroll of the Annja l tur y copy of a twelfth (traced from a repro d

scene from the palace Höjüji-den as illustrate d in the "Pic - Rites an d Ceremonies " tha t is an early seventeenth cen- century original (1175?). The text describes th e illustratio n iction of th e seventeenth centur y original) .

17

residence after his retirement . In front of the mai n hall on e seesth e feudal lord s ceremonially puttin g in an appearanc e in full armour. 2 5 One may discern in th e same place as in th e illustratio n of th e pony contest jus t described, th e squar e cushion on which th e Imperia l Higness would sit, althoug h he isno t depicted ou t of respect for his status . Again th e courtl y ladies ar e only shown as part s of thei r colourful robes . They ar e looking on from behind th e hanging reed screens (sudare). Like in th e preceding illustratio n guests ar e again entertaine d by th e exotic sight of a phoenix- headed boat , poled aroun d by four page boys ; only one boa t is shown thoug h an d n o musicians ar e seated in it . At th e lower edge of th e illustra - tion , in th e right half, th e ridge of a temporar y ten t is shown , unde r which the musicians must be seated, suggested by th e fiery decoratio n of a huge drum . Th e ten t with its musicians stand s on a n island , a vermilion lac- quered bridg e leads t o it. 2 6 Rocks ar e set in arrange d group s along th e garde n stream t o th e right an d a t a few point s alon g th e edge of th e pond . Sparse plantin g can be seen in th e open are a in front of th e main hall where th e feudal lord s are . Pines an d cherries can be mad e ou t amon g th e trees . A different representatio n of th e same garde n on th e same scroll shows th e same amoun t of trees an d th e same species at th e same place . The appearanc e of thi s mansion , th e Höjüji-den Palac e is know n in detail from othe r sources as well. A model of th e buildings has been made , bu t th e miniatur e trees tha t were pu t on the model d o no t accor d with th e representatio n o n th e scroll (fig. 8) .

Belonging t o a slightly late r period is a scroll titled "Pictur e Scroll of th e Incarnation s an d Miracles at th e Kasuga Temple " (KasugaGongen Kenki Emaki). 21 A section shows a residence of a Fujiwar a governo r called Toshinor i (d.1309?) (see fig. 9) . Th e representatio n is less stylistic an d mor e natura l tha n th e preceding pictures discussed. It is mor e difficult t o judg e how reliable thi s one is as historica l source because ther e is no t th e abundanc e of corroboratin g documentar y evidence as was th e case above. 2 8 Th e garde n ha s many elements tha t we have alread y noticed . There is th e stream tha t passes unde r some buildings before it flows int o the pond . Along th e stream , th e groun d has been shaped int o gently slop- inglowgarde n mounds , clad with some groun d cover an d sparsely plante d with solitar y shrub s an d trees of different species. Her e an d ther e rocks ar e set in unobtrusiv e groups . Revealing th e wealth of th e owner — besides th e spaciousness an d the rich decoratio n of th e architectur e —ar e a bir d cage an d some tra y landscapes (bonseki, or bonsari),pu t o n a tra y in front of th e veranda . These miniatur e landscapes were hardl y produce d at tha t time within Japan , an d were exotics importe d from th e mainland .

7 ' i^fjr

FIGUR E 8 . Reconstructe d aerial view of th e Höjüji-den Palace , th e resemblance

t o th e Tösanjöde n detail . Compar e with

si ems

striking at first sight , but they differ considerably in

figure 5.

FIGUR E 9. Aviewof thegarden a t the residenceof governor Fujiwara Toshinori . Traced from a reproductio n of the original "Pictur e Scroll of the Incarnation s and Miracles at th e Kasuga Temple" , date d 1309.

20

A peacock

swimin th e

dramati c arra i gements below a pin e wood tha t closes off th e garde n an d

th e section of th e scroll. 2 9

an 1 hen , an d a hare , walk aroun d freely. Mandari n ducks p oi d an d fly over it . Acros s th e pon d stones ar e set u pin mor e

A few mor e scjoll painting s exist tha t ar e contemporar y or of slightly later

dat e an d tha t depict residences of th e rich . Th e elements an d features shown in picti res of garden s ar e th e same , like th e garde n strea m with a few rocks , the undulatin g groun d t o th e left an d right of it , where a few solitary trees itand , th e pond , etcetera. 3 0

CHAPTER 3

TEMPL E GARDEN S

None of th e historical palace garden s discussed so far has survived th e

ages . Sometimes it is possible t o designate th e site an d sometimes garde n remains can be found ; bu t if so , these form only a mino r par t of th e original tota l arrangemen t and usually they hav e no t been left unaltere d since the time of thei r construction . However, within templ e compound s

a relatively large numbe r of rathe r complete Heia n garden s still exists.

3.1 TEMPLE GARDENS AS ARISTOCRATIC CULTURE

The temple garden s were all constructe d after th e later half of th e eleventh

century or after th e twelfth an d ar e therefor e of a slightly late r dat e tha n the famed palaces . All ar e clearly within th e definitions of th e palatia l pon d garde n so tha t it apparentl y was already a standar d typ e of garden

at tha t time . These templ e garden s d o no t appea r on illustrativ e painting s

of th e time . Th e temples in which Heia n period garden s ar e still found were built a t some distance from th e capita l city, where they hav e been lesslikely t o fall prey t o destructive forces in times of disturbanc e an d upheaval . Perhap s history has dealt mor e respectfully with temples tha n with palaces. 3 1 Of course n o plantin g remains from th e long pas t Heia n period . Wha t remains isusually th e pon d an d th e island(s) with rocks arrange d her e an d ther e along th e shores . In somecases th e main templ e hall still stands , bu t often only th e remains of it ar e found , in th e form of foundatio n stones used unde r th emain standin g pillars . Th e locatio n of th e hall isalwaysop - posite th e pon d garden , exactly as in th e residentia l palaces . Th e image one may form of th e spatia l relatio n tha t existed between th e main hall an d garde n informs therefor e no t only abou t a Heia n templ e garde n bu t also gives a n idea on th e atmospher e in the palaces . In recent years a lot of research has been don e on thes e old templ e gardens ; rock ar - rangements , washed over with soil , even garde n streams , hav e been ex- cavated or otherwise been reconstructed . Complet e an d convincing reconstruction s with th e histori c garde n rock s a t han d have been under -

22

taken . Some )f these tangibl e specimens of Heia n garde n ar t will be

treate d below

known of pala|ce garden s throug h othe r sources . Th e most importan t dif-

ference is a s

layout of th e fjonds, islands an d buildings of th e temples . But apar t from

this , th e oth e

ronger emphasi s on symmetry an d axiality found in th e

As we will see ther e is a stron g resemblance t o what is

main principles ar e th e same . Fo r instance , th e templ e

garden s also dften have a garde n stream with decorativ e rock s set along

it .

Th e fact thp t temple garden s of th e period shoul d resemble secular

palace garden: is because they were used in th e same way. Temples where

garden s ar e

aristocrati c With t o serveasthei r residence . Some of th e garden s belonged t o family temjles of th e Fujiwara clan. 3 2 Garden s a t temples served t o entertai n gues s in th e same way as in palaces . Ceremonia l festivities were

staged in th e place on th e islands in it .I-

differences. A main hall of a palace was th e seat of th e most honoure d

spectator s a t festive ceremonies . In temples , though , it was th e place where Buddh; statue s were set up , tha t faced th e garde n an d overlooked th e pon d an d islands . On e may presume tha t th e sentiments a t temple festivals woul p therefor e have differed from th e ambianc e a t palaces .

act indication s tha t it was th e intentio n t o evoke th e at - Buddhist paradis e o n earth. 3 3 But from description s of

Ther e ar e in mospher e of

religious festi als it is clear tha t th e materializatio n of thi s paradis e was quit e earthly , \t a sutr a readin g ceremony in th e Tale of Genji, a contem-

porar y novel , xtrem e car e ispai d t o th e coloure d robe s of th e priests , th e

music an d

things , rathe r tha n kneeling down in piou s prayer. 3 4

impanying dancing ; th e guests discuss all these magnificent

bun d were established by abbot s an d high priest s of

>pen space in front of th e main templ e hall , boatin g too k an d temporar y tent s for musicians were set u p o n th e owever similar as they may seem in thi s respect , ther e were

Effectively me must view these pon d garden s in temples within a n old

Far-Easter n

t o pla n templ e complexes in monumenta l symmetric

arrangement s n which a Buddha figure occupied th e main position. 3 5 Th e old complexe > were monasterie s tha t never ha d decorativ e gardens ,

though . Th e

sparta n i char a te r . Th e lat e Heia n perio d temple garde n retaine d a littl e of

th e monume n al axiality of th e early monasteries , bu t clearly underwen t

a strong influ:

pon d garden s appeare d as par t of monumenta l temple architecture .

Th e Buddh a1 alls were less used a t festivities tha n were th e mai n halls of

palaces . In plain tha t

ymmetry an d axial plannin g of th e lay ou t stressed thei r

of th e cultura l tradition s of palace architecture ; large scale

pies mor e use was mad e of outdoo r space , which may ex- s ar e a great deal wider tha n in palace gardens . Also th e

tei i

po id

23

open stretc h in front of th e main hal l is mor e spacious at some temples ,

as th e following paragrap h shows . It discusses as an illustrativ e example

a garde n a t a templ e called Mötsu-ji .

3.2 TEMPLE GARDENS,MOTSU-JI

Fa r nort h from present Toky o lies Hiraizumi , a little countr y town tha t

once was a brillian t centr e of courtl y Fujiwar a

par t of th e twelfth centur y a norther n branc h of th e Fujiwar a clan had its palaces an d temples in Hiraizumi , before it was crushed in 1189 at th e downfall of th e dynastie s of th e Heia n period . Th e remain s of several large temples here have remaine d largely undisturbe d unti l today , since thi s place was rathe r separat e from th e cultura l an d political centres t o th e sout h an d west. 3 6

culture . Durin g th e larger

Amon g th e remnant s in Hiraizum i is a garde n pon d with decorative

rock arrangement s a t th e site of th e temple Mötsu-ji . Th e garde n remains

at Mötsu-ji must be qualified as some of th e best preserved Heia n period

garde n arrangements ; it is worthwhile t o trea t the m extensively. Th e templ e was established in 1117 by decree of the Empero r Tob a (1102 - 1156) in accordanc e with a long-cherished desire of Fujiwara Motohir a (1100? - 1157). 37 Empero r Tob a became a reigning , infan t empero r in 1107 an d abdicate d fourteen year s later , an d ruled from

behind th e screens. It wasno t an unusua l procedur e for an empero r t o rule

in thi s way. Cloistered emperor s (inset), as they ar e called, trie d in fact t o

cur b Fujiwar a power. 3 8 Tha t Mötsu-ji could b e established as a temple showstherefor e tha t politica l weight was still on th e Fujiwar a sidein 1117.

Th e templ e initially escaped th e 1189 rampag e when most of th e othe r palaces an d temples in th e neighbourhoo d fell prey t o th e flames, never- theless it burn t down as th e result of a n accident no t long after that .

Th e large , flat stones tha t served as foundatio n for th e pillar s tha t sup - porte d th e floors an d roof s still indicat e th e place where th e temple buildings stood . Sout h of what mus t have been th e main templ e hall lies an open space roughl y fifty meters square . It corresponds , of course , t o

th

e san d covered stretc h in front of th e main halls in palaces , althoug h it

is

almos t twice as large as th e open are a a t th e Tösanjöde n Palac e (fig.

10). Th e pon d is also large . It measures abou t 180meters in th e east-west directio n an d ninety meters across from th enorther n t o th e souther n edge,

a t a poin t in front of th e main hall . Ther e isalso a n island . Th e south-eas t shor e was , as excavations revealed, paved with rounde d stones t o suggest

a beach . Th e edge of th e pon d ha s been restore d accordingly . A pro -

FIGUR E 10. Pla n of th e garden remain s a t Môtsu-j i an d the neighbouring Kanjizaiô-in . The western half of th e pla n shows th e large pon d of Môtsu-ji an d th e locatio n ofits main hal l with galleries an d kiosks . The rectangle in th e eastern half of this i Ian was the site of th e temple Kanjizaio-in belonging t o Fujiwara Motohira' s w fe. A t th e tim e of th e drawin g of thi s pla n (1950's) th e site was still in agricultur a use , on e may not e th e rounde d parcels of the rice fields. In th e nor - ther n par t of he rectangula r siteth e locatio n of two Buddh a hals is indicated . The pon d situatec t o th e sout h of these ha s recently been reconstructed .

25

trudin g embankmen t o n a centra l positio n in th e souther n pon d edge, in- dicates th e positio n of a bridg e tha t once led t o th e island . Remains of bridg e pillar s were foun d unde r th e water level. On e could enter th e garde n throug h a souther n gate , jus t in front of thi s bridge . Foundatio n stones still indicat e itsposition . A second bridg e connected th e island with th e norther n shore , s o tha t on e coul d proceed t o th e mai n hal l over th e island o n a rout e tha t also formed th e centra l axis . A procession over th e bridges an d island toward s th e main hall with its Buddh a statue s mus t have formed apar t of th e protoco l at ceremonial festivities. 3 9 Th egat e for daily use was in th e east wall of th e compound . Th e souther n edge of th e pon d features tw o large rock compositions , roughl y fifty meters t o th e east an d west of th e main , sout h gat e an d th e bridge (fig. 11). At th e south-eas t a peninsul a stacked with rock s jut s ou t int o th e water , ter - minatin g visually in a rocky islet set a little apar t from thi s projection . A slanting cliff o n th e islet sticks u p t o abou t tw o meters abov e th e water level. It s sturdy , phalli c appearanc e contrast s markedl y with th e placid surface of th e garde n lake . Th e expanse of th e water extends in th e gently rising beaches a t thi s easter n side . West of th e bridg e at th e souther n side of th e pon d is anothe r grou p of rocks . A solitary hillock comes close t o th e water edge an d rock s ar e arrange d on it stepwise; th e lowest ones lie in an d below th e water . Th e whole comes u p t o four meters or so abov e th e level of the pond . Closer inspection shows tha t rounde d rock s ar e laid horizontall y a t th e water edge, partl y submerged , whereas craggy rocks stan d vertically an d higher t o retai n th e slope . Forgettin g tha t thi s is a garden , on e seesa strikingly realistic miniatur e representatio n of a natura l coas t of sand-polishe d rock s beneat h th e crag s of ventifacts. 4 0 Th e west side of th e pon d has filled with silt . It mus t have extended.som e twenty meters o r more , althoug h it was probabl y shallow . Two pavilions stoo d o n th e nort h embankment , east an d west of th e place where th e bridg e began . Thei r locatio n is still indicate d by some remainin g founda - tio n stones . They were connected with galleries t o th e main Buddh a hall . Fro m th e site of thes e pavilions on e command s a fine view over th e ex- pans e of th e water an d th e respective roc k arrangement s a t th e opposit e shore . At th e tim e when th e templ e still stoo d these tw o pavilions were referred t o as 'Th e Sutr a Storage ' (Kyözö) an d 'Th e Bell Tower ' (Shôrô). 4 1 I t isunlikely , however, tha t the y ever actuall y containe d sutra s or a bell . Th e name s recall th e old symmetrically laid ou t monasteries , in which a sutr a storag ean d abelltower indeed too k position s t o th e left an d right of a centra l axis . But in tha t arrangemen t ther e was never place for a decorativ e pon d garden . When compare d t o a pla n view of a palace , for instanc e th e reconstructe d ma p of Tösanjöden , one sees tha t bot h

FIGUR E 11. Ti e of Mötsu-ji , eas

'roug h seashore ' rock arrangement s a t the souther n pon d edge and west of the main gat e (twelfth century) .

27

pavilions a t Mötsu-ji belong t o atraditio n of monumenta l palac e architec- ture . They must have been open structure s used t o enjoy th e garden . Fro m a reservoir in th e north-easter n quarte r of th e site ra n a garden stream . It' s paved bed an d accompanyin g garde n rock s hav e been ex- cavated recently. This stream entered in th e north-easter n corne r of th e pond , no t far from 'Th e Bell Tower ' pavilion . I t is likely tha t th e place where th e strea m enters th e pon d was designed o n purpos e so as t o enjoy th e sight an d soun d of fresh water from th e pavilion . Contemporar y record s speak of boatin g partie s on th e garde n pond . 'Th e Sutr a Storage ' pavilion was probabl y used as a moorin g where one entered th e boat s or waited for them . This was one of th e usual functions of thi s western garde n pavilion in palaces. 4 2 Remains of thre e othe r temple gardens , related t o Mötsu-ji in form an d history can be found in th e region . They were established by close family members of the same Fujiwar a Motohira , who founded Mötsu-ji . All ar e of a smaller scale. 4 3

CHAPTER 4

NOBLES AN D THEI R NATURE :

TH E BEGI N >fINGS O F A GARDE N THEOR Y

Th e last cha p ers o n th e Heia n perio d inten d t o clarify th e identit y of th e garde n maker > as well a s t o discuss th e theorie s o n th e ar t of garde n mak - ing tha t existed at tha t time .

4.1 GARDEN]NGASA NOBLE PURSUIT

In contempo iary document s few name s appea r of noblemen who were

reportedl y actively interested in th e ar t of garde n making. 4 4 Ther e is for instance a ce tai n Enen , or E-Ajari Enen , which means something like Painting-Pri e ;t Enen. 4 5 H e was an officially appointe d painte r of religious subj cts— record s of th e 1020'srelat e of hisactivities inth e field

— bu t his n a structio n of

perial Adviso • Yorimichi of th e Fujiwar a clan is discussed in a previou s

section tha t describes a n illustratio n from th e "Pictur e scroll of th e Pon y

Contes t at t h

Painting - Pries t Ene n was actually no t jus t a priest , he was of Fujiwar a stock himself and no t of th e lowest branches . H e was of th e same genera- tion as Yorin ichi, thei r respective grandfather s were brothers . Althoug h

Enen carries

amon g th e aifstocrats . Th e nam e of anothe r priest , Jöi , also return s quit e often in th e document s Tlokudai-ji Höge n Jö i is his full name , High Pries t Jö i of th e Tokudai-j i tqmple. 4 6 Jö i is also closely related t o th e Fujiwar a clan .

Tokudai-j i w; s in fact a family templ e of th e clan , hewas therefor e in Fu -

ne is also mentione d several times with regar d t o th e con-

tie ,

garde n at Kaya-in. Th e garde n a t thi s palac e of th e Im-

Imperia l Visit" .

lerical names he must therefor e be considered a n aristocra t

jiwar a service

Tha t almos t inevitably supposes tha t he was of Fujiwar a

birth , as th e importan t post s were always occupied by clan members .

Sources indee b confirm this , althoug h with someambiguity . H ewas either

a grandso n o

Palace . In I'. 34 it is reporte d tha t he worked o n a garde n a t a temple Hökongo-i n n which h e set u p stones an d mad e a garde n stream . In

anothe r i inst a ice

he worke d togethe r with a certai n Minamot o Morotoki ,

a great-grandso n of Advisor Yorimichi from th e Kaya-in

29

on th e garde n at an imperial palace . Jö i taugh t gardening techniques t o several others ; an d in fact a lineage of garde n teacher s an d disciples descended from two of Jöi' s pupils. 4 7 It forms th e origin of a rathe r large grou p of garde n technicians known as Stone Erecting Priest s (ishitateso). They were of commo n or even low social standing . In the early mediaeval period they formed a grou p of semi-professional gardener s mainly involv-

edwith th

Ninna-ji . Chapte r 7.2 of par t two on th e mediaeval period discusses a garde n book tha t they wrote . In priest Jö i of Fujiwar a birt h we find therefor e a channel throug h which Heia n aristocrati c knowledge on gardenin g theories was transmit - ted t o lower layers of society in late r period s of history . Jöi' s uncle (or th e brothe r of his grandfather , accordin g t o certai n

sources) was most active of all th e Fujiwara' s involved in garden s (see fig. 12). This man , Fujiwara Toshitsuna , was a son of Yorimichi from th e Kaya-in Palace . Toshitsun a most likely also compiled th e garde n manua l

Sakuteiki tha t is th e subject of th e next chapter , therefor e this person in mor e detail. 4 8

eplacingof garde n stones . Their

activitiescentered inth e templ e

I will discuss

Fujiwara

Toshitsuna , who' s date s ar e tentatively given as 1028 -1094,

was bor n as an illegitimate son of Fujiwara Yorimichi , son of th e great Fujiwara Michinaga . Toshitsuna' s mothe r later marrie d the governor of th e provinc e of Sanuki , th e provincia l Tachiban a Toshitoo . Toshitsun a therefor e also carried th e family nam e Tachibana . Toshitsuna' s family line was no t completely impeccable. 4 9 Since goo d lineage an d a high posi - tio n in th e Fujiwara family tree were importan t social values in hiscircles, his birt h may have been a psychological factor explaining his unusuall y profoun d search int o th e ar t of garde n making . Late r in his life, in fact , he was take n again as a n acknowledged child of Yorimichi . Toshitsun a was appointe d a pos t as a high steward of one of th e pro - vinces; bu t it is likely tha t he installed some deput y in his place , as he re - mained living in Fushimi , a river por t sout h of th e capita l Heian . Hi s residence was located on a beautiful scenic spo t tha t late r became th e site of a retired emperor' s palace . Toshitsun a is known t o have written poetr y an d some literar y criticism, bu t distinguished himself abov e all in th e field of gardens . When he was a boy he had accompanie d his father Yorimichi o n his inspection visits t o th e sites where his palace s were built . Thu s he ha d seen th e work s o n th e Kaya-in palace in progress , where Enen also was involved; an d he ha d visited th e constructio n siteof a palac e known as Byödö-in. Her e he hear d all kinds of advise an d gained insight in aspects of garde n makin g tha t would provid e th e basic subject matte r for his garde n book . In th e twelfth

MOROSUKE

KANEIE

KORETADA

MICHINAGA

YOSHIKANE

YORIMICHI

ENEN

TOSHI SUNA

MOROSANE

fJÖ H TSUNESANE

JOI

FIGUR E 12. Dfegram

Toshitsuna , En e 1 an d Jö i —actively intereste d in garden s —wh o ar e mentione d

in the text .

showing th e blood relation s of the Fujiwara members

31

mont h of 1093his mansio n burn t dow n an d th e manuscrip t tha t recorded

thi s catastroph e als o deplores th e loss of the garden . Soon after Toshitsun a himself passed away. 5 0

Fujiwara

Enen , Jöi , an d Toshitsun a were thre e outstandin g men amon g a limited numbe r of nobles tha t ha d an interest in matter s of garde n making . It must also be understoo d tha t th e numbe r of buil t garden s was also small . By observing , an d being somewhat involved with , th e constructio n of on e or twogarden s some nobles achieved a reputatio n inth e field, bu t it would be an overstatemen t t o say tha t they were garde n artist s or garde n profes - sionals . Thi s kind of ad-ho c amateuris m is well illustrate d in a section from th e contemporar y novel th e Tal e of Genji :

Genji gave order s for finishing th e house . Since word ha d been sent

tha t he would b e a t his Katsur a villa , people ha d gathere d from all his nearb y manors , an d presently sough t him ou t at Öi . H e set them t o clearing th egarden . ''Wha t ajumble . It could bea rathe r distinguished

garde n — bu t why tak e th e trouble ?

work of clearing th e broo k tha t ra n from unde r th e east gallery, Genji ha d throw n off his cloak. "

" Personall y supervising th e

Althoug h Princ e Genji apparentl y shows some active enthusias m for th e work in th e garden , it is actually th e men tha t d o th e work . It does no t tak e to o much imaginatio n t o see tha t they also d o th e regula r maintenance , a less exciting occupatio n for a nobleman . Th e fact tha t great garden s were mad e in th e Heia n period must have been because of expertise found amon g nameless labourers . These people belonged t o th e land on which they lived as a kind of bondsme n tha t could be called upo n whenever necessary. 5 2 An interesting account date d 1018tells of th e hun - dreds of people summone d t o hau l some large garde n rocks , pulled over rollers runnin g on board s tha t were laid out. 5 3 Anothe r documen t lists over a hundre d names of high rankin g govern- ment officials who presented decorativ e rocks for th e garde n tha t was t o be built a t a palace called Kujöden. 5 4 These officials must hav e consulted underlings on th equalitie s of th estones tha t they wanted t o present . There must have been people wh o searched for th e stones an d transporte d them t o th e site . These will again have been th e men of th e land tha t knew th e places in th e forests an d th e hills where stones suitabl e for a garde n could be found . Th e following paragraph s deal with Toshitsuna' s not e boo k on garde n making . Th e manuscript , strikingly , does no t trea t th e technical aspects of garde n construction . When technical details ar e touche d upo n these ar e

32

always discussled

These ar e th e

th e constructio n

from a poin t of view of an onlooker , or supervisor ,

tiiingstha t Toshitsun a must have experienced when visiting

sites of th e palaces of his father .

4.2 A NOBLEI* [AN'S STUDY, THE GARDEN MANUAL SAKUTEIKI

Th e garde n m nua l Sakuteiki exists a t present in th e form of a handwrit - ten text on two scrolls. Th e origina l is kept by th e Tanimur a family in Kanazawa but facsimile re-editions exist. 5 5 Word s of th e text ar e draw n with ink on th ; pape r makin g use of a soft brush . Th e letters ar e writte n in a fluid, rui ning style using a lot of th e phoneti c Japanes e hiragana alphabe t rath« rtha n th e ideographi c characters . Thi s way of using brus h an d language known as th e cursive script (sösho), was particularl y favoured in ccurtly , aristocrati c circles, where much stress was laid on its elegance of expression. 5 6 Th e manua l ïas been known as Sakuteiki, which means "Note s on

Garde n Makiig" , since th e late seventeenth century . Its

though , is Senzai Hishö, "Secre t Extract s on Gardens". 5 7 T o confor m t o

th e existing piictic e I will also use th e nam e Sakuteiki rathe r tha n Senzai Hishö. Th e laiter , older titl egives food for thought . Why should informa -

tio n on

I thin k it m ist be explained agains t a social-psychological background , an d it is wor h th e troubl e investigating thi s because th e natur e of the secrecy of Ja j an' s garde n book s changes in th e course of th e centuries . Th e basis for politica l power structure s amon g th e Heia n ruling aristocrac y w;s family lineages. On e inherited importan t post s in govern- ment rathe r tha n gaining them throug h othe r apparen t merits or capacities , suc h as soundnes s of decision makin g or a n unusuall y goo d in- telligence. Th : assignment of government post s in Chin a o n th e contrar y was based on the merits of th e perso n involved. Historie s of Chin a speak of its 'merit o :racy' , or 'meri t system'. 5 8 Heian' s government was no t a meritocracy . )n e needed family ties , preferably Fujiwara , if one aspired t o success in t olitics. Intelligence an d knowledge, wereno t of primar y im- portanc e t o t!ie individual when inheritin g posts . But for th e Fujiwara' s as a group , aFter all a rulin g oligarchy , it was of utmos t importanc e t o keep knowled »e, of whatever nature , within thei r own ranks . A free traf- fic of knowle dge was no t desireable ; on th e othe r hand , transmittin g it secretly back :d u p th e existing hierarchy , th e lineages of personally favoured descendants . Withi n thi s practic e it was only natura l tha t infor- matio n on g< rden makin g should als o be kept secret. 5 9 On e may even

oldest title ,

gard e is have been secret?

33

assume tha t Toshitsuna' s ardou r when compiling his Sakuteiki was stimulate d by th e reality tha t he was creating his own bod y of secret knowledge, so tha t he could contribut e something t o th e Fujiwara supremacy an d ensur e his own position . His bastard-Fujiwar a birt h an d later recognitio n as a tru e son of Fujiwar a Yorimichi could be related t o thi s contributio n he mad e t o th e body of Fujiwar a secrets; however, nothin g concretely support s thi s hypothesis .

Seen in th e context of th e still rathe r fragmented world of garde n making , one canno t bu t be impressed by th e profoun d insight eleventh century Toshitsun a shows in his garde n boo k int o theoretica l principles of garden design. Also the systematic arrangemen t of bit s of informatio n int o mor e or less consistent chapter s is striking . But n o informatio n a t all is given on th etechnique s of plantin g or transplanting , on trimmin g trees or main - tainin g garde n plants . We read nothin g abou t techniques of haulin g stones , preparin g th e steady foundation s o n which they stan d in th e garden , etcetera , etcetera . In short , Toshitsun a ha d looked at garde n mak- ing from a distance. 6 0 Th e content s of th e Sakuteiki ar e to o theoretica l an d a t point s even to o intellectual t o call it a manua l on garde n construc - tion . Toshitsun a is only one of th e noblemen tha t showed a n interest in garden s an d happen s t o be the on e wh o wrot e an d whose note s have been transmitte d t o late r generations . Most intellectual is th e introductio n of the Sakuteiki an d it is temptin g t o introduc e a little of it here . Some fundamenta l an d universal principal s of garde n design an d creativity in garde n ar t ar e formulate d in a com- prehensive manner . It says:

When you place stones (for a garde n wk.) , it is first an d foremost necessary t o gras p th e overall sense . — Following th e topograph y of th e site an d seeing how th e pon d lies on e mus t thin k over th e particula r aesthetic sense of all part s of th e place . The n recall landscap e scenery as it is foun d in nature , an d seeing how different all th e part s of th e site ar e you must place th e stones by combining these impressions. 6 1

Th e overall sense t o be grasped touche s upo n a mai n principle in garde n design of achieving a sense of unity . Any landscap e design ha s t o be created in a singleness of though t or consistency of idea. 6 2 Th e questio n for th e aesthetic senses of a site seems t o be non e othe r tha n th e search for th e 'geniu s of th e place' , a poin t of major consequence in landscape design of any age. 6 3 Toshitsuna' s phras etouche s alsoupo n a fundamenta l mechanism of creativity in garde n design. Creatio n is regroupin g of men-

34

ta l images, m

t o these. 6 4 Thfe post-moder n designer of ou r days turn s t o menta l images

of existing gar ie n

artisti c worl d of th e capita l Heian , archetypica l garde n images — well known traditiona l imagery of composition s of garde n material s — were

found mostly tio n of garden

following ph r ise in th e introductio n of th e Sakuteiki says :

king no t yet existing association s of ideas , an d give a form

styles an d recombines these int o new creations. 6 5 In th e

n natur e itself, because ther e existed as yet hardl y a tradi -

art ; althoug h th e garde n boo k urges t o study th e past . Th e

—Tak e as a model th e creation s left t o us by th e famous men of old ; and , consic ering th e suggestions of th e owner of th e hous e (where th e garde n is tJ be made , wk.) , on e must create , exercising one' s own aesthetic seises .

Th e relatio n b tween th e wishes of a n owner an d th e aesthetic ideas of th e designer is als< on e of th e classical problem s in garde n design. One canno t bu t conclude I hat Toshitsuna' s word s ar e well though t out , his Sakuteiki is a serious pipvate study .

It is clear scenery as itis

ideas were developed in th e limited world of th e Heia n aristocracy . Speak-

ing of it in t e

much histori c 1 insight . Chapte r 4.4 of thi s par t return s extensively t o th e

introductio n of th e manua l Sakuteiki. Her e it was only briefly introduce d

t o illustrat e

philosophi c pisf a 'ace, th e rest of th e manua l is less profound . Althoug h it

remains concerned with theoretica l ideas , these ar e mostly individual

note s or idea:

grouped in consistent sections . Th e following treat s these sections one by one. 6 7 Th e first p a t deals with typical problem s tha t occur in th e early stages of the constructio n of a garden . Decisions on th e locatio n of th e pond , th e island(s) an d i s bridges hav e t o be made . Implicitly it becomes clear tha t th e Sakuteiki iddresses th e typical pon d garden of a Heia n aristocrati c residence.

on garde n lay out , tha t are , withou t further comment ,

much mor e can be said abou t concepts like 'landscap e found in nature ' an d 'one' s own aesthetic senses' , a s these

tl at

ms of th e twentieth centur y as I did abov e does no t give

Toshitsuna' s intellectua l standing . Compare d t o thi s

The n follovls a section on variou s modes in which one may design a garden . Types of landscap e scenery ar e discussed unde r headings as "Th e Mountai n Stre|am Style" , "Th e Pond-Poo l Style" , etcetera , from which

principles of g oun d form an d stone work ar e derived . Only in a few cases

ar e some brie!

ideas given o n planting , for example :

35

Fo r thi s roug h seacoas t on e place s a numbe r o f pointe d rocks , onl y a littl e separate d fro m th e actua l wate r edge , i n a disordere d way . Fro m

thes e rock s tha t exten d fro m th e wate r edg e a s if the y gre w fro m it ,

othe r stone s stan d furthe r of f th e shore . I t i s a goo d ide a t o se t a

isolate d rock s stil l furthe r away . Th e stone s hav e th e appearanc e o f be -

in g washe d out , a s on e mus t imagin e tha t the y ar e o n a plac e wher e the y

ar e expose d t o th e merciles s force s o f th e waves . Finall y yo u mus t sho w

a sandban k o r a whit e beac h her e an d there , an d som e pine s an d othe r tree s shoul d b e planted. 6 8

few

Withou t an y doub t thi s advis e wa s take n b y hear t b y th e maker s o f th e

roc k arrangement s a t th e pon d edg e i n th e garde n

positio n o f th e larg e roc k

o n man y point s wit h th e advis e o f Sakuteiki. Thi s confirm s tha t i t wa s know n a s a desig n idea . Standar d idea s o n ocea n scener y existe d tha t

relie d o n a standar d imag e o f a roug h seacoas t (fig . 13) . Roug h seacoast s

i n realit y ar e differen t fro m

force s o f win d an d water , th e changin g minera l qualitie s o f th e rock s ex - pose d t o it , an d othe r thing s lik e that . I n th e Sakuteiki nevertheless , th e ide a o f "Th e Ocea n Style " i s reduce d t o a precisel y define d for m o f on e typ e o f roug h seacoast . Th e menta l imag e belongin g t o "Th e Ocea n Style " i s therefor e a typification , a n idealizatio n o f reality .

o f Môtsu-ji 6 9 Th e com -

group s a t th e sout h edg e o f th e pond , confor m

plac e t o plac e accordin g t o th e differin g

"Th e Ocea n Style " i s on e amon g a serie s o f suc h idealize d archetypes .

Other s discusse d i n th e Sakuteiki

"Th e Broa d Rive r Style" , an d s o on. 7 0 I n thi s wa y i t become s a n idiomati c rang e o f language s o f form . A catalogu e fro m whic h th e designe r ma y choos e th e associativ e imag e tha t inspire s him . Mos t il - lustrativ e fo r m y poin t i s a mod e t o desig n a garde n title d "Th e Ree d Han d Style " (ashide no yo).

ar e "Th e Mountai n Strea m Style" ,

"Ree d Hand " i s th e nam e o f a styl e o f fluen t calligraph y no t unlik e th e

flowin g

Han d wa s use d t o writ e poem s o n smal l landscap e painting s showin g mar -

sh y ree d lands . Th e letter s an d word s o f thes e applie d poem s wer e express - ly stretche d an d elongate d s o a s t o matc h i n a n aestheticall y pleasin g wa y

th e line s tha t wer e draw n t o

scene . Writte n word s an d painte d landscap e ha d t o combin e int o on e har - moniou s wor k o f art . Th e reed s a s wel l a s th e othe r thing s o f natur e — rocks , shoreline , birds , th e wave s o f th e wate r — i n suc h landscap e miniature s wer e draw n i n a sof t an d flui d wa y t o mak e sens e a s a n artisti c for m i n combinatio n wit h th e handwriting . I t i s thi s sof t an d gentl e land - scap e tha t Toshitsun a ha s i n min d whe n h e write s ho w a garde n scen e lik e th e Ree d Han d shoul d look :

handwritin g i n whic h th e Sakuteiki itsel f wa s written. 7 1 Th e Ree d

represen t th e ree d stalk s i n th e landscap e

FIGUR E 13. Ric k arrangement s of th e 'roug h seashore ' type in th e pon d at the

37

Th e Reed Han d Style. Garde n mound s must no t be high . Stones ar e placed here an d ther e where sloping groun d forms come t o an end or where th e groun d comes at an end at th e pon d edge. Provid e small plant s like low grass bamboo s an d sedges. Choos e soft forms when plantin g trees , so willow an d plum . Always use laying stones for th e Reed Han d mode . They can belaid in atriangula r arrangemen t like the Chinese characte rpin. Such stones must be associated with little plant s tha t d o no t grow u p high , nor lush. 7 2

The Reed Han d mod e discloses best how the division Toshitsun a makes

must beevaluated . Th e 'Styles ' ar e idealized landscapes of th e elegant an d intellectual aristocrat , an d no t copies of actually existing geographical

. The next section in th e Sakuteiki discusses th e design of shorelines a t

landscapes

ponds , an d of streams , an d islands . These ar e likewise divided in idealized types tha t serve as an inspirativ e menta l image . Thu s we find passages headed like "Th e Field Island" , or "Th e Rocky Shore Island". 7 3 All ar e associated with a particula r detailing of groundforms , rock work an d again only briefly on plants . Th e following paragraph s in th e Sakuteiki

trea t the constructio n of variou s types of waterfalls . Nine standar d

of having th e water fall ar e discerned, like th e "Running-Falling " way, or th e "Linen-Falling " in which water is mad e t o fall as a thi n sheet. 7 4 Then ther e isa long section on th e lay out of th e garde n stream . It clear- ly treat s th e typical strea m in th e palac e garde n as it is discussed in th e chapter s 2an d 3of thi s part . Thoshitsun a makes some reference t o certain theories of divinatio n in thi s section o n th e stream . Chapte r 4.3 covers thi s extensively. Th e next section in th e Sakuteiki, again relatively large , is a rang e of

ways

instruction s in th e ar t of placing stones . It is title d "Ora l Instruction s o n the Placing of Stones" , so tha t we may assume tha t Toshitsun a recorde d only what ha d existed as a non-writte n tradition . In fact some individuals ar e noted in the text as sources of information . One comes across ' a Chinese ' (söjin), a certai n Hirotaka , an d Enen , th e Painting-Pries t whom

I introduce d before. 7 5 Hirotak a an d Enen associated with each othe r

since bot h were painter s in imperial service. 7 6 In anothe r section of his notes Toshitsun a state s tha t Enen gave him some texts on th e placing of stones . Ther e must have been a n exchange of informatio n amon g th e no - ble garde n enthusiasts . A reputatio n could therefor e have developed and

it is likely tha t Toshitsun a was known as a garde n fanatic . With some shorte r sections th e Sakuteiki closes. We read abou t superstition s and divination s on th e positio n of types of trees in the

38

garden . I will return t o thi s in th e next chapte r on the theorie s of divina- tion . The n th<re is a section on th e constructin g of wells, as well as some

personal not e

H e relates his joyhoo d visitst o th e Kaya-in palace an d speaks of Painting -

Priest Enen , \'ho passed on some document s abou t th e placing of stones

t o him . At t h

following

from Toshitsuna . Thi s is of bibliographica l importance .

end of th e second, an d last , scroll th e manuscrip t has th e

colipho n in a different handwriting :

Mornin g of th e twenty-seventh day of the sixth month , summer 1289. Overcome vith ennui I unrolle d thi s an d rea d it completely.

signed with tl e self-modest:

Old an d s t|ipi d me (gurö).

an d a n unreafiable signature . Then it is written :

This writi g belongs t o Nochin o Kyögokudono . It is a precious treasure . Ii must be kept secret -r—it must be kept secret. 7 7

with a different

Th e commf nt

tha t impressec

unidentified signature . of thes e two reader s is on e of respect . At least they were tha t they too k th e troubl e t o write some commen t an d sign

it

. Nochin o

Kfoögokudono, meaning th e Lor d of th e Lat e Kyögokudon o

w iS

Palac e was

lujiwar a Yoshitsune (1169 - 1206). Th e colopho n writer

assumed tha t

he writing was his . I t was therefor e originally believed tha t

Yoshitsune

th e writer . But from th e persona l note s in th e text of th e

Sakuteiki it This shor t

becomes clear tha t Toshitsun a was th e author . iummary of th e content s of th e Sakuteiki note s th e most im-

portan t char a

:teristics of the work . Profoun d theoretica l insight precedes

a systematic

A seriesof i id* al

one toward s These ar e

structed , an d upervised th e constructio n of somehimself. Toshitsun a had

heard a lot of

he got

from Enen . 7 8 H e also incorporate d theoretica l ideas from Chinese

informatio n from other s an d studied some document s tha t

qollection of stray note s on th e practic e of garde n planning .

images of natur e ar e summed u p asideas tha t may inspire oncret e design. note s of an aristocra t who ha d seen garden s being con-

ti e

book s as th e of sites founc

'ollowing pages show tha t trea t th e ideas on th e divinatio n in th e manua l Sakuteiki.

39

4.3 DIVINATION AND ADAPTING TONATURE

Th e Sakuteiki makes clear in itsintroductio n tha t th e plannin g of a garden was a matte r of reflecting upo n th e aspects of th e site . Th e garde n book was written sometime in the lat e eleventh century . At tha t tim e all th e courtly garden s tha t existed were of th e pon d an d island typ e an d were within , or close by, th e capita l of Heian . As most garden s t o which Toshi - tsun a could refer were therefor designed o n th e same kind of site , an in- quiry int o th e specific characteristic s of th e topograph y of th e land of th e capita l Heia n is mad e in the present chapter . Th e standar d lay ou t of a palace garde n accordin g t o th e Sakuteiki, an d th e topograph y of th e capita l Heia n ar e perfectly in accordanc e with each other . Althoug h it is difficult t o seewhich one existed first , it is at least clear tha t bot h reinfor- ced each other . Wha t resulted was a fixed plannin g scheme o n which no t only all th e pon d garden s in th e capita l relied, bu t also th e later gardens of th e period in othe r part s of Japan. 7 9

Th e valley in which th e city Heia n laid — th e valley in which at present Kyot o lies —drain s off toward s th e south-south-west . Th e average fall of th e lan d is abou t five or six millimeters per meter , in th e norther n half of th e plain a little steeper, u p t o one centimeter per meter. 8 0 Th e usual size of a site for an average middle class cour t noble' s residence was abou t 120 t o 120 meters ( = on e cho), on which th e lan d fell therefor e anywhere from sixty centimeters u p t o a meter. 8 1 A paragrap h from th e Sakuteiki o n th e garde n stream notes :

When one establishes th e levels for a water course , the lan d should fall abou t thre e percent , in orde r t o let the water flow by itself. The n th e strea m will ru n withou t stagnation , gently murmuring. 8 2

Following th e manual' s advise of a thre e percent fall, th e sixty t o a hun - dred centimeters fall —of an average 120meter site —would only allow for a stream length of twenty t o thirty-thre e meters . It follows tha t th e strea m would only ru n on a relatively shor t section of its cours e crossing over a n average plot . Wate r would be largely stagnan t over th e rest of its course . Th e Sakuteiki continue s in fact :

toward s th e end of the course of th e runnin g water , even if ther e is n o roo m for fürther grading , th e water will flow nevertheless being pushed forward from behind. 8 3

Othe r sections ar e similarly suggestive of th e proble m of keepingth e water running , aptly illustratin g the restrictive reality of th e topograph y of th e

40

capita l Heia n

Th e typical site sloped down toward s th e south-south-west .

When a streai i

was t o b e designed i n th e garden , th e non-runnin g part s

of it could

theoreticall y speaking b estagnan t o n th ehigher , norther n half

of th e site, o r

on th e lower , souther n half. If located in th e nort h ada m

ha d t o bebuil appearance ,

,

o r a basi n t o bedug ,which would mak e for a n unnatura l th e water level o f th e pond , would be high , maybe

higher tha n tl

e

low lying land o n th e souther n side. Anothe r way could

be t o collect

ti e

water o n th e souther n side of th e site , with th e runnin g

stileam located abov e it , coming from th e north . I n thi s case

par t of th e one would lo

)k upo n th e surface of th e water when standin g o n th e

higher, northern

side of th e site . Thi s way seems mor e natural , an dca n

be achieved

th e particula r

Th e city was streets . A site natura l surfade souther n half of

Iwth l lesseffort . This iseven mor e evident when on econsiders

of a site in relatio n t o th e urba n structur e of th e capital . lesigned a s a grid with north-sout h an d east-west runnin g was squar e an d surrounde d by walls. 8 4 I n heavy rain s th e

drainag e would have th e water collecting in th e lower, thi s square . Th e Sakuteiki advises:

When a p o id ist o bedu gan d stones ar et o beplaced , yo u should

examinethi natura l layof the land an dthe n in accordanc e with th e cir- cumstances (tayori nishitagatte) digan d shape th epond , construc t th e islands ,anc determine th eflowing-in an d flowing-out direction s ofth e

pon d watei

first

Th e meaningfcf'th e circumstances ' is withou t an y doub t th e natura l cir- cumstances of a site, tha t isinthi s case th elower , damp , o r even swampy souther n half . Th efollowing sections inth emanua l implicitly depar t from

a situatio n of a pon d in th e souther n half of th e plot . Nowhere is itex-

plicitly state d ha t th epon d should b ei nth esouth ; thi s souther n locatio n of th e pon d siems hardl y t o have been consciously chosen . Accordingly

it isdifficult

th e next page; is th e swampy conditio n of th e whole of Heian' s valley.

Ther e wewill eetha t natura l pond s were in fact already present a t many of th epalac e i ites. Th eSakuteiki depart s a t a certai n poin t als o from th e situatio n of a >ondexisting before th erest of th e garde n ismade ; without any further inroductio n it says :

t( speak of a design intention . Mor e extensively discussed o n

Whether a r island is provided for o r no t depend s o n th econdition s of the site, an l whether th e pon d is narro w o r wide

8

6

Situation s exi te d in which th e size of a n alread y existing pon d was decisivefor thi constructio n ofa nisland inito rnot .Topograph y dictate d theory , design followed natur e which mean t t o adap t t o it unconsciously ,

41

rathe r tha n t o chose a design policy fully awar e of it . When advising on th e garden lay ou t th e manua l resort s many times t o Chinese theories on th e divinatio n of sites. In th e Sakuteiki th e theories ar e referred t o as th e Fou r Gods Doctrin e (shishinsetsu)} 1 In the doctrin e four mythical beast s from Chinese mystic lor e guarde d th e four cardina l directions of the compass . Th e Whit e Tiger guarde d the west, th e Blue Dragon the east , th e Red Bird was in th e sout h an d a black creatur e with the body of a turtl e an d th e head of a snake guarde d th e norther n direc- tion of th e hemisphere. 8 8 It formed in fact par t of a mor e complicated Chinese set of thought s that , for instance , also dealt with the four seasons (fig. 14). East where th e sun rises was though t of as representing spring , sout h where the sun is in its zenith stoo d for summer , west for autumn , nort h for winter . It was further elaborate d soast o fit in th e Five Elements of Chinese science. 'Wood ' stoo d in the same positio n as spring an d east;

'fire ' was in the south ; 'metal ' in th e west and 'water ' in th e north . In the usual circular configuratio n a middle position was introduce d for th e fifth element 'earth' . Twelve animal s of the zodiac and othe r fundamental features of the empirical world, like colours an d hour s were set in the scheme. It wasthough t of asan overall scientific theor y tha t could explain the cosmos. 8 9 Even more , it formed a basis of reasoning'wit h which natur e could be manipulated . Th e theor y of th e Fou r Gods , in particular , was made int o a set of practica l principles on th e lay ou t of a house . Whether tru e or not , it was believed tha t if a house was built on a site with

a topographica l configuratio n in accordanc e with the principles , good

health , long life an d fortun e was ensured. 9 0 Th e topograph y of th e capital Heia n is discussed below in mor e detail followed by a reconstructio n of the plannin g scheme as it is laid down in the Sakuteiki. As shown th e scheme follows the topographi c

characteristics of th e typical site in th e capita l Heian , but never conscious-

ly choses thi s as the best way.

Th e grid of road s an d streets tha t formed the basis of the capital' s ur - ba n structur e was oriente d on the east-west an d north-sout h lines of th e compass (see fig. 15).Two canals crossed the city, runnin g from th e nort h t o th e sout h along straigh t lines. These canals draine d off any surplus rain-water , but also served aschannel for a few natura l rivers tha t crossed the city area . Their natura l courses were dammed an d the water they car- ried was led throug h th e artificial canals. 9 1 Th e alluvial deposit s of the rivers remained in place , of course . Particularl y th e deposits in th e river bed complex of the old Takan o river an d its branc h th e river Kamo con- sists of sandy layers , of which many were still carrying much water in th e Heia n period . These old alluvial systems with thei r feeders, dead branche s

FIGUR E 14. A schematic representatio n of Chinese cosmos-explaining thought .

43

an d subsoil aquifers ru n largely from the north-eas t t o th e south-south - west direction s of th e capital . Th e part s of th e city where th e rivers ha d ru n possessed therefor e many natura l springs , little streams an d stagnan t pools. 9 2 All the runnin g water followed generally speaking the directio n of th e natura l geology, takin g courses from north-eas t t o south-south - west. Sites with a natura l stream or spring wereabov eall favoured as sites for buildin g a palace , no t only because of th e presence of clear drinkin g water , but also because the water was used for th e garden. 9 3 With only a few exceptions all th e Heia n palac e garden s tha t we know of at present , were situate d on th e geological deposit s of the old Takan o an d Kamo rivers . Speaking in general for thi s area , a natura l stream , if present , would ru n therefor e from th e north-eas t toward s th e south-south-east . For the squar e sites of th e urba n grid thi s means tha t a strea m would enter on th e nort h or on th e east side, an d would leave th e lot of land over the south or west boundary . The advice of the garde n book Sakuteiki on the course of the garde n strea m complies remarkabl y with the actua l situa- tion , an d further legitimizes thi s mos t obvious lay ou t with geomanti c principles . These principles ar e consistent throughou t th e manua l an d form a standar d plannin g scheme:

Th e outle t of th e pon d or the garde n strea m should be led toward s the directio n of th e sign hitsuji-saru (tha t equals th e sout-west wk.) . This isbecauseth e water coming from th edirectio n of th e Blue Drago n (east wk.) must be washed ou t in th e direction of th e Whit e Tiger (west wk.). 9 4

Or another , longer section :

Firs t of all you have t o stabilize th e course at th e source of th e water . Th e Book says tha t th e regula r flow start s from the east an d run s throug h the sout h toward s th e west. Runnin g from th e west t o th e east is th e unnatura l reversed flow. Therefor e it is always flowing from th e east t o th e west. Th e auspicious strea m start s from th e east , an d leaves from the south-west after passing unde r the house . This is t o wash ou t all kinds of evil with water from th e direction of th e Blue Drago n (the east , wk. ) toward s th e pat h of th e Whit e Tiger (the west, wk.) . Th e owner from thi s hous e will be saved from man y epidemic diseases an d ba d syphilis an d enjoy a carefree an d long life unti l an old age . When fixing upo n a site , one take s correspondin g t o th e doctrin e of th e Fou r God s th e left side from where the water isrunnin g as th e Blue Drago n (i.e . water shoul d ru n from th e east , wk.) . This being th e case,

BEUOf « D KAMO RIUER.

BECOFOLDT7IKW O RIUER--

^OkKfM.

CANAL

FIGUR E 15. Reconstructed pla n of th e ancient capita l Heia n showing the grid

patter n of streets . The Grea t Palace Enclosur e (Cf.

par t of the city. Aquiferou s formation s of coarse sands ar e indicated with a screen tone , old river beds with broke n lines. Th e large pond s on some sites can be distinguished. Th e sites of the importan t aristocrati c palaces (indicated with dots ) are, hardl y without exception, located on th e aquiferou s formations . (1. = site of th e palace Kaya-in, 2 .= site of Tösanjöden. )

fig.1) issituated inth e norther n

45

th e water comes ou t from unde r th e buildings a t th e east , an d must b e led throug h th e sout h toward s th e west. Even when coming from th e nort h it must be sent aroun d t o th e east an d the n t o th e south-west. 9 5

The Book mentioned her eisprobabl y th eclassic Chinese diviners ' manua l Zhia Jing (Ha n dynasty , BC.206 - AD.220) from which th e text in the

Sakuteiki

his disposal . 9 6 In th e quotation s it is advised t o have th e water ru n over th e site exactly as it should following th e typical natura l drainag e of the capita l Heian , tha t is from a north-easter n directio n t o a south-western one . Furthe r it must be led throug h the south , before it leaves th e site at th e west side. In th e sout h wasth e pon d which was , astheabov e discusses, alsoth e most logical an d obvious locatio n from a point of topography . As such it is an implicit an d basicidea in th eSakuteiki. 'Le d through ' means therefor e led throug h th e pond . Th e stream should , according t o th e manual , enter th e pon d garde n at th e easter n side of th e space enclosed by th e buildings . Othe r sections of th e manua l clearly depar t from a main hal l located op - posite th e pon d tha t lies sout h of it an d speak of the 'sout h garden ' (nantei). 97 Thinkin g of climat e contro l it was mos t appropriat e t o locate a building on th e norther n side of a lot an d hav e its main , open facade facing th e south . An d because th e souther n half was also th e lower , dam p par t of a plot , locating a building o n th e norther n half was simply most logical an d natural . Th e plannin g scheme of the Sakuteiki seems perhap s t o be th e result of sound thinking , bu t complying t o th e natura l physics of a site needed th e confirmatio n of mystic theories t o become acceptable . What' s more , syphilis an d epidemic diseases became one' s penalt y if th e rule of comply- ing t o th e site was violated . Th e manual' s plannin g scheme was therefor e not t o soun d in its thinking , bu t it was th e result of adaptin g t o an en- vironmen t tha t was still felt as potentiall y dangerous . The poin t of depar - tur e was a negative one ; th e Heia n perio d garde n make r did no t seek har - mony with natur e because he though t it would result in benign after- effects. Giventh e typical topographica l situatio n inth ecapital , only slight changes were t o be mad e t o mak e it suitabl e as an outdoo r space . Slight as these were it was felt tha t they ha d t o be reinforced gy geomanti c theories . In reverse geomancy reassure d tha t th e site, as it was , was all right an d did no t need t o be changed considerably. 9 8 I n th e geomantics of th e Heia n period garde n theor y on e still senses a fearful awe for nature . Th e rol e Chinese geomantics played in Japanes e garde n making diminished in th e cours e of late r centuries , perhap s because th e fear of

seems almos t literally copied . Toshitsun a perhap s ha d a copy a t

46

natur e waned . Wha t eventually prove d t o be classical standard s set by

Heia n noblemen were no t the fears bu t rathe r th e blessings they found in

th e natur e surroundin g them . They recorded th e aspects of natur e they

loved in lyrical poetr y with themes of birds , flowers, an d plants . Th e next,

an d last chapter s of thi s par t one trea t these themes an d how they in- fluenced garde n art .

4.4 THEMES: AN INTERPRETATION

So far we have discussed th e actua l appearanc e of th e Heia n garden s an d

th e people an d othe r factors decisive in thei r making . On e of thes e factors

was th e topograph y of th e capita l city itself tha t proved t o be a deter- minative in th e plannin g of a garde n lay out . Th e last chapter s on th e period deal with th e Heia n appreciatio n of natura l beaut y in th e garde n an d how thi s related t o garde n making .

Th e appreciatio n of natura l beaut y was most directly expressed, an d is

most directly understoo d by us , throug h contemporar y writte n opinions .

A large amoun t of literatur e of th e tim e exists in which one may rea d how

th e Heia n nobles phrase d thei r feelings of delight toward s natur e as they

perceived it . One novel is particularl y abundan t in references t o garde n

scenery an d some part s of it will be quoted . Thi s is th e Tale of Genji. "

It was writte n aroun d th e tur n of th e millennium by a cour t lady Murasak i

Shikibu (978? -

) .It is fiction, t o be sure , bu t gives a n image of what

life was like . Th e main characte r in th e first half of th e novel is Princ e Genji. It is speculated tha t thi s figure was modeled on th e historica l Fu - jiwar a Michinaga , th e mos t powerful of th e Fujiwar a leaders . Princ e Gen- j i personifies all th e ideals of th e elegant noblema n in th e courtl y

world .' 0 0 In hisgarden s tha t ar e described in th e novel on e may also sense a n ideal world . As we are , in th e present chapter , in search of concept s

of beauty , which ar e by definition ideal , th e Tale of Genji mus t be valued

high as a source in thi s respect. Princ e Geni' s largest palac e isa place called Rokujô . It isth e setting no t only for man y ceremonies an d parties , bu t also for most of th e endlessly

intriguin g love affairs . Th e palac e is in fact th e residence of four courtl y ladies , four of Princ e Genji' s foremost concubines . On e must imagine thi s palace as a complex arrangemen t of halls an d annexes connected by galleries, in short , a n elaborat e form of th e kin d of architectur e tha t is described in on e of th e first sections of thi s work . Of interest is th e idea

of four divisions within th e residence, each comprising th e living quarter s

for on eof Genji' s four ladies .These fou r quarter s ar e als o each dedicate d

47

t o one of th e four seasons . At first sight it vaguely reminds one of th e Chinese cosmos-explaining theories , tha t were also concerned with dividing four seasons over the four direction s of th e compass . But it isim- mediately clear tha t Genji' s intention s ar e far mor e poetic . H e assigned th e south-west quarte r laid ou t t o give th e utmos t effect in autum n t o a lady indicate d as Akikonomu , which literally mean s 'wit h a liking for th e autumn' . Th enorth-wes t quarte r wasmean t t o b emos t beautiful in winter and was given t o someone indicated a s 'th e lady from Akashi' . Akash i is a region at th e coast nea r moder n Osaka . In lyrical poetr y it always car - ried man y connotation s of th e loneliness of a wintry landscape , when col- our s become monochrom e an d natur e is silent. 10 1 North-east , dedicated t o th e summer , was for a concubin e called 'th e Lad y of th e Orang e Blossoms' , tha t indeed bloom in th e summer months . South-east , a t last , was for lady Murasaki , Genji' s mos t favourite an d designed t o be most beautiful in spring. 10 2 Several times in the Tale people discuss th e ques- tion , which season is best , mor e in particular , what is bette r spring or autumn . I t is always concluded tha t autum n was better. 10 3 Perhap s because of tha t Genji, very diplomatically , assigned thi s season t o his se- cond favourit e lady , giving second best , spring , t o his most favourite. 10 4 Th e first long passagein which th e garde n a t th e Rokuj ö Palac e isdescrib- ed run s as follows 105 :

Th e wishesof th

gardens , a most pleasan t arrangemen t of lakes an d hills . Th e hills were high in th e south-eas t quarte r (dedicated t o spring , wk.) , where cherry trees were plante d in large numbers . Th e pon d was mos t attractivel y designed. 10 6 Amon g th e planting s in th e forwar d part s of th e garde n were cinquefoil pines , red plums , cherries , wisteria, Kerria , an d rock azalea , most of them trees an d shrub s tha t ar e enjoyed in spring. 10 7 Touches of autum n to o were scattered throug h th e groves . In Akikonomu' s garde n th e plantings , on hills left from th e old garden , were chosen for rich autum n colours . Clea r spring wate r went singing off int o th e distance , over rock s designed t o enhanc e th e music . Ther e wasa waterfall , an d th e whole expanse waslike an autum n field. Since it was now autumn , th e garde n was a wild profusio n of autum n flowers an d leaves, such as t o shame th e hills of Öi a t Saga (the hills a t th e river Öi flowing throug h th e fields of Saga were well know n for thei r beautiful autum n colours , wk.). 10 8 In th e north-eas t quarte r ther e was a cool natura l spring an d th e plans ha d summer in mind . In th e forward part s of th egarde n th e wind throug h thicket s of Chinese bambo o would be cool in summer . The

e ladiesthemselves wereconsulte d in designing th enew

48

trees stoo d thickly as in a hillside forest , thei r ticket s attractivel y recall- ing th e countrysid e in th e mountains. 10 9 Ther e was a hedge of mayflower, an d ther e were orange s t o remin d th e lady of days long gone . Ther e were wild carnation s an d roses an d gentians an d a few spring an d autum n flowers as well. A par t of th e quarte r was fenced off for equestria n grounds . Since th e fifth mont h would be its liveliest time , ther e wereirises along th elake . On th e far sidewerestables where th e finest of horses would be kept . And finally th e north-wes t quarter : beyond a mu d wall t o th e nort h were rows of warehouses , screened off by Chinese bamboo . Thickly plante d pines would be beautiful in new falls of snow .' 1 0 Th e chrysan- themu m hedge would certainly show itself mos t beautifully in th e mor - ning frosts of early winter. 11 1 A stan d of big oak s stoo d proudl y in amon g deep groves with mountai n tree s which on e would hav e been har d pu t t o identify.

With thi squotatio n a widerang e of garde n images isintroduced , differing in each quarter . The four garden s were designed t o be a t thei r best in a designated season . I t is largely throug h a choice of plan t material s with strong seasonal characteristic s tha t th e seasons ar e expressed. Even subtleties othe r tha n seasonal aspects of plan t growt h ar e introduce d t o enhance th e delights of each season . A cool natura l spring , appreciate d most o n a ho t summer day is present in th e summer quarter . Relying on a mor e abstrac t evocatio n of coolness is th e plantatio n of Chinese bam - boo ; wind rustling throug h its leaves creates a cooler feeling tha n a soundless breeze . Chrysanthemum s ar e chosen for th e way in which they show themselves covered with white frost, rathe r tha n for thei r flowers. All thes e aspect s ar e of such a subtl e sensitivity tha t th e enjoyment of th e seasonal beautie s must hav e been far mor e importan t tha n a mere division in four quarters , each with a season . In othe r word s it is no t jus t a matte r of lay out , a whole appreciatio n of natur e is in discussion. The idea of dividing a garde n in four quarters , each for one season ap - pear s as well in othe r Heia n period tales . I n those , summer is always in th e south , winter in th e north , spring in th e east an d autum n in th e west. 11 2 Th e questio n emerges whether th e idea was a literar y fiction or a n actually existing practice . Fro m othe r less fictional an d mor e historica l sources it is clear tha t several of th e famous palac e garden s of th e time were laid ou t divided in four part s each set apar t for one of th e seasons . We came across th e palac e Kaya-in tha t was depicted in one of th e scroll paintings . It was extensively reconstructe d from abou t 1021 on , a t th e time when Fujiwar a Yorimichi lived there ; hewas , as will be remembered ,

49

th e father of Toshitsun a the writer of th e Sakuteiki garde n book . Th e garde n of Kaya-in was laid ou t 's o tha t one can see th e four seasons in the four directions' , according t o one source. 1 " Murasak i Shikibu , wrot e the Tale of Genji in th e years aroun d 1000, no t to o long before th e works at Kaya-in started . She is also known t o have been trouble d by th e mor e indiscreet proposal s of Yorimichi' s father , Fujiwar a Michinaga ." 4 It can hardl y be wrong tha t she was familiar with th e old Kaya-in palac e an d th e plans for its garden . It likely inspired her description of Princ e Genji' s garden a t th e Rokuj ö Palace . Th e early twelfth centur y palace Toba-don o of th e Empero r Tob a was likewise divided in four sub-palaces each dedicated t o on e of th e four seasons . Autum n trees were, as in Genji' s palace , plante d o n a hill . A hillock known as Th e Autum n Hill laid unti l recently in a western par t of the rura l scenery where th e palace once stood . Th e expandin g city of Kyoto has take n over th e site a t present." 5 Th e Autum n Hill is a piece of tangibl e evidence tha t thi s garde n with th e four seasons ha d a concrete division of seasonal trees in four quarters . Th e details of th e garde n at th e Toba-don o Palac e must have been of th e natur e of the designs in Genji' s Rokujö Palace . We can no t be sure , however, whether thi s was inspired by th e already well-known Tale of Genji, or whether it stoo d within a mor e general tradition . Th e garde n boo k Sakuteiki refers indirectly t o th e idea of dividing a garde n in four seasonal part s when it says:

Except for th e cardina l point s —Th e Blue Drago n (east) , Whit e Tiger (west), Red Bird (south) , an d th e Black Snake-Turtl e (north ) — any kind of tre e can be plante d at any place . But men of old have said tha t on e ough t t o plan t shrub s bearing (spring) flowers in th e east an d trees with autum n leaves t o the west. 11 6

Th e Sakuteiki also keeps autum n in the west an d spring in th e east. 11 7 Fro m th e abov e we must conclude tha t a practice existed t o allocat e part s of a garde n t o th e appreciatio n of th e particula r delights of each season. Anothe r section in th e Tale of Genji describing th e same garde n a t Rokujö Palac e is quote d below. It gives importan t clues in understandin g the Heia n aristocrati c delight found in the seasonal details of nature . Th e passage tells of a part y held in spring , when th e garde n wasvery beautiful . Th e green of the mosses , the trees on th e garde n hillocks , an d th e sight of th e islands in th e pon d provide d enough excuse for buildin g tw o boat s and organizing a boa t party . Th e text reads :

Genji ha d carpenter s at work on Chinese pleasur e boats , an d on th e

50

day they were launche d he summoned palac e musicians for water

music . Prince s an d high courtier s came crowding t o hear

of youn g women who were though t likely t o enjoy such a n outin g were rowed ou t over th e sout h pond , which ra n from Akikonomu' s south - west quarte r t o Murasaki' s north-east , with a hillock separatin g th e two . Th e boat s left from th e peninsul a a t thi s hillock. Murasaki' s women werestatione d inth eAngling Pavilio n at th e boundar y between th e tw o quarters . Th e drago n an d phoenix boat s were brilliantl y decorate d in th e Chinese fashion . Th e little pages an d helmsmen, thei r hair still boun d u p in th e page-boy manner , wore lively Chinese dress , an d everything abou t th e arrangement s was deliciously exotic . Th e

boat s were poled t o th e middl e of th e pond , it was really as if coming

t o an unknow n land in th e middle of th e ocean

u p below th e cliffs a t a n island cove, where th e smallest of th e hangin g rock s was likea detail of a painting . Th e branche s caught in mists from either side were like a tapestry , an d far away in Murasaki' s privat e garden s a willow traile d its branche s in a deepening green an d cherry blossoms were rich an d sensuous . In othe r places they ha d fallen, bu t

herethey were still a t thei r smiling best , an d along th e galleries wisteria was beginning t o send fort h its lavender . Yellow Kerria reflected on th e lake as if abou t t ojoi n its own image . Waterfowl swam pas t in amiabl e

pairs , an d flew in an d ou t with twigs in thei r bills ,

Number s

Th e boat s pulled

Evening came .

kaze fukeba nanti no hana sae iro miete koya nani tateru yamabuki no saki

Th e breezes blow , th e wave flowers brightly blossom Will it be th e Cap e of Yamabuki ?

haru no ike ya

Is thi s th e lak e of spring

ide no kawase ni where flows

kayoran kishi no yamabuki soko mo nioeri

th e River of Ide tha t Yamabuk i should plunge int o its depths ?

käme

no ue no

Ther e is n o need t o visit

yama mo tazuneji

Turtl e Mountai n

fune no

naka ni

'Ageless '

oisenu

na o ba

shall be th e nam e

koko ni nokosan

of ou r pleasur e boat s

5

1

Poem followed poem . The young women seemed t o forget tha t th e day must end an d they must go home." 8

The part y continue d all throug h th e night an d well int o the next day . Then a sutra-readin g ceremony was held, where eight little girls , dressed up as birds an d butterflies , performed a dance o n music . Later one aboarde d the boat s again . The writer paint s in th e quotatio n abov e an impres - sionistic imageof th egarden . It isa drea m world of natura l beauty , a hazy mist of soft colours . Ou t of thi s certai n details of natur e emerge quit e ex- plicitly: a willow tha t trail s its branches , th e smallest of the hanging rocks , etcetera , etcetera . It isseries of elements , rathe r tha n a tota l scenery of th e garden tha t is described. Most explicitly noted is th e reflection of th e flowers of th eyamabuki (Kerriajaponica ) on th e surface of th e pond . Th e courtly ladies ar e so excited abou t thi s tha t they even star t composing poems . T o b e sure they recognized a lyrical them e (fig. 16).Th e image of Kerria flowers reflecting upo n th e surface of th e water was in fact a classical theme of poetry . In an eight century antholog y of lyrical poetry , known as th e Manyöshü the following lyric is presented :

kawazu naku kamunabigawa ni

Kerria flowers will soon be in

bloom ,

kage miete

thei r shadows

falling

ima ka sakuramu yamabuki no hana

on th e waters of the river where frogs croak. 11 9

Kannabi

,

Also a t the time when th e Tale of Genji was writte n it was a well known theme , th e following poe m was writte n a t abou t th e same time :

sawa-mizu ni In th e swamp-water

kawazu naku-nari yamabuki no utsurou kage ya soko ni miyuramu

th e frogs ar e croaking , th e reflected image of th e Kerria flowers must be visible t o them down below.

12 0

The ladies in the boat s als o recited a poem on th e turtl e mountain ; it also relies on a literary theme , althoug h it is no t originally from lyrical poetry . It refers t o legendary mountainou s islands tha t were carried on the back of turtle s swimming in a n ocean far away . Immortal , ageless fairies lived in these mountains . Originally a legendary story , it became used as a theme in poetry .' 2 ' Literar y sources othe r tha n th e Taleof Genji also have instances where people star t writing or reciting poetr y prompte d simply by th e unconsciou s recognitio n of a lyrical theme seen in a garden. 12 2 Th e

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53

Tale of Genji is nevertheless extremely abundan t in its use of poetry . Murasak i Shikibu , who wrote th e Tale , speaks of herself as 's o wrapped u p in poetr y tha t othe r people hardl y exist'. 12 3 Indeed she must have been gifted with a sense for poetry , since th e Tale is full of lyrics tha t convey messages tha t could have been equally well said with non-poeti c phrases . And asit washer intentio n t o show th e world initsmost beautiful colours , ther e can be n o doub t tha t poetr y formed par t of this beauty . A closer look at th e descriptions of the garde n at Rokuj ö shows even mor e poetics . Th e names of flowers tha t ar e listed for each of th e four seasons ar e in fact standar d epithet s in classical poetry. 12 4 These epithet s {makura- kotobd) were used t o evoke in a condensed way th e atmospher e of th e season with which th e poem dealt . These seasonally related poems were recited in accordanc e with the actua l time of the year . In th e abov e quota - tion th e season is spring , an d standar d spring epithet s are , for instance , cherries an d Kerria . A willow trailin g its branche s is an example of mor e extended, standar d spring imagery . Th e same phras e is found in poetr y concerned with spring. 12 5 The particular s of th e division of th e Rokuj ö palace garde n in four seasons derives also straigh t from th e canon s of poetry . Spring evoked with cherries on hillocks , summer with the shadow of thicket s in a countr y village, autum n with fields an d maples , an d winter with snow in the pines were all given themes of classical lyrics. 12 6 Murasaki' s ideal garde n was a world of lyrical beauty . Appreciatio n of natura l beaut y in th e world of Genji meant , therefore , the delight tha t was felt when recognizing themes known from lyrical poetry . Does this , as a hypothesis , hold tru e for all of Heian' s garde n world? An intriguin g questio n is , of course , whether it was the garde n maker' s intentio n t o present natura l beaut y in the garde n in form of recognizable lyrical themes . Th e following aims a t proving this . This is what th e Sakuteiki advises in th e last of its thre e maxims — the first two were quote d before — tha t specify th e overall concept of garde n making :

Thin k over th e celebrated scenic places (meisho) of the provinces an d absor b mentally thei r attractiv e points . The general air of these places must be created (in th e garde n wk. ) metaphoricall y copying (nazorae) thei r attractiv e points. 12 7

The celebrated scenic places were actua l places tha t were famou s for thei r scenic beauty . This scenic beauty was the beaut y of the place a t a par - ticular time of th e year , when certai n seasonal aspects were most promi - nent . These seasonal highlights wereof course mostly , bu t no t exclusively, phenomen a of th e natura l vegetation. !2 8 Th e fame of these places did no t originat e in the amoun t of tourist s tha t traveled t o it , bu t rathe r in th e

54

number of times tha t th e place was laude d in classical poems. 12 9 We have already come across several of the standar d scenic places in th e previous pages . Th e rivers Ide an d Kannab i were famous because of thei r Kerria flowers. Mor e tha n th e flowers themselves it was thei r reflection on the water tha t wasth e substanc e of th e fame of th e rivers . A rathe r ephemeral image, which shows th e poetic natur e of fame in thi s case. Th e autum n colour s in th e garden of Lad y Akikonom u were 'suc h as t o shame th e hills of Öi' . Th e hillsides nea r th e river Öi were well known as a place with beautiful maple colour s in autumn . Judgin g from th e introductio n of th e Sakuteiki on e may conclude already tha t it had been Genji' s intentio n t o make a compariso n with th e hills of Öi . Lengthy lists of famou s places werecompiled by th e Heia n literar y men an d women . They formed an importan t par t of the literar y criticism an d th e theoretica l treatise s on poetr y tha t were written .' 3 0 Even th e landscap e paintin g of the day was , t o a great extent , concerned with representing th e celebrated scenic places . Th e chambe r screens on which th e landscapes were executed were set u p a t ceremonial festivities an d often served t o rous e u p th e poetic feelings and inspir e th e writing of poems . Th e artisti c intentio n of th e landscap e painte r was in thi s respect th e same as of the garde n maker . Evoking th e poeti c aspects of celebrated places was primary. 13 1 The Sakuteiki specifies quit e precisely tha t 'th e general air ' of the celebrated scenes must be recreated in th e garde n 'metaphoricall y copy- ing ' thei r 'attractiv e points' . It was certainly no t th e idea t o represen t a miniatur e copy of a famou s place in th e garden . Th e Tale of Genji ex- emplifies wha t was mean t by 'genera l air ' an d th e metaphorica l copying

of 'attractiv e points' . It was only th e reflection

reminded th e ladies of th e poems o n th e River Ide . It was no t th e actua l river landscap e tha t they found attractive , it was only th e ephemeral poetic atmospher e of th e Kerria reflection. 13 2 Only th e lyrical theme , in its most literal an d condensed sense, was recreate d in th e garden . Th ecelebrated scenicspots , as Ihav e said, were famous becauseof their seasonal natura l beauty ; usually plant s in bloom or autum n colour . Th e place nam e became inextricably associated with th e plant . Likewise, most plant s became associated with certai n geographica l locations . Fo r in- stance , it was common knowledge tha t maples went with a hillside an d pine trees with a distan t mountain , as it was said in th e poems of old . Th e writer of th e Tale of Genji knew also tha t Kerria should reflect upo n a water surface . Th e poeti c principles of plant s were so commonl y known , tha t it was no t even th e purpos e of a boo k on garde n makin g t o discuss these principles . I t will be recalled tha t advice o n plantin g is remarkabl y

of th e Kerria flowers tha t

55

scanty in th e manua l Sakuteiki. Th e poetic principles of plan t life could easily be translated , as mental images , t o th e artificial situatio n of a garden . It would have been very difficult t o reconstruc t th e actua l river

scenery of Ide in th e garden , bu t it was very simple an d logical t o have Kerria reflecting on th e water of th e pond . Creatio n was no t t o transpor t

a geographi c scene int o th e garden , bu t t o render a mental , poeti c image int o a garde n view. Th e proble m of plantin g in garde n makin g was therefor e no t a problem of design theory . It was no t concerned with form or shape , but far mor e

it was a questio n of exercising one' s poetic senses. With thi s conclusion

the porten t of th e introductor y phrase s in th e Sakuteiki becomes clear :

When you place stones (for a garde n wk.) , i t is first an d foremost necessary t o gras p th e overall sense. — Following th e topograph y of th e site an d seeing how th e pon d lies on e must thin k over th e particula r aesthetic sense of all part s of th e place .The n recall landscap e scenery asit isfoun d in nature , an d seeing how different all th e part s of th e site ar e you must place th e stones by combinin g these impressions . —Tak e as a model th e creation s left t o us by th e famous men of old ; and , considering th e suggestions of th e owner of th e hous e (where th e garde n is t o be made , wk.) , on e must create , exercising one' s own aesthetic senses. 13 3

T o be sure , th e advise t o study th e creation s of men of old is commonl y

found in treatise s on th e ar t of writing poetr y as well. Th e particula r 'aestheti c sense ' of a spo t has t o be understood , t o which recollections of landscape scenery hav e t o be matched . With th e abov e analysis we now know tha t 'aestheti c sense ' equals 'poeti c sense' , or even 'lyrica l mean- ing' . Thinkin g over th e particula r aesthetic sense of any spot must in fact be translate d as 'thinkin g over th e lyrical aspects of any spot'. 13 4 Fo r th e 'aestheti c sense ' th e Japanes e wor dfuzei isused in th e text tha t a t th e first instanc e where it is used contain s aspects of discernment on th e par t of th e beholder , bu t also aspects of th e appearanc e of th e spot . Th e same word is used shortl y after tha t when th e manua l advises t o creat e exercis- ing one' s own aesthetic senses. At tha t poin t 'aestheti c senses' only refers t o th e mind of man , or , mor e precisely, of th e garde n maker . Th e same

word has therefor e a doubl e meaning . I t is used t o denot e characteristic s perceived in th e materia l world of th e garden , as well as t o indicat e a n in- tentiona l faculty of th e garde n make r t o creat e beauty . T o stat e it simply, it means bot h 'beautifu l appearance ' an d 'aestheti c feelings'. 13 5 The aesthetic feeling — th e lyrical meaning —tha t a site evoked in th e mind

56

was clearly perceived as of th e same level as the site itself. Site , its lyrical feel, an d man' s poetic feelings werediscussed in th e sameterms .Th e word used for it ,fuzei, shoul d therefor e no t betranslate d as 'taste' . Iwould like t o reserve th e word tast e for a mor e abstracte d an d intellectual apprecia - tion of garden s in which tast e isa conscious faculty of judgin g and discer- ning beauty , separat e from innat e qualitie s of th e perceived. The Heia n nobles did no t experience thei r values of beauty as a set of specified qualitie s of beauty . It mus t have been a vague bu t strongly emo - tiona l feeling no t t o be named mor e concretely tha n 'sense' . Th e Japanes e wordfuzei is a compoun d word mad e u p of th e tw o character s for 'wind ' or 'air ' an d for 'feeling ' or 'emotion' . Thoug h semantically it is no t cor- rect t o derive the meaning of a Japanes e compoun d word from its con- stitutin g characters , it is illustrative in thi s case tha t th e aestheti c sense of a garde n could not bemor e concretely indicated tha n a 'win d of a feeling' . The word fuzei is only used a few times mor e in th e manua l where it always carries th e same meaning . A fifteenth century garde n manua l tha t is discussed in chapte r 7.2 of th e next par t of thi s work , par t two , also employs th e word , bu t with great frequency an d in a concret e sense t o mean 'appearance' , or 'beautifu l appearance' . Th e Heia n lyrical meaning of garden views became mor e concret e in due course of time. 13 6

The introductio n of th e manua l Sakuteiki gives an othe r concept tha t deserves ou r attention ; namely , reflecting upo n th e aesthetic sense of any spot in th e garden , one had t o combine this with recollections of 'land - scapescenery asit isfound in nature' . It ismyopinio n tha t th e term 'land - scape scenery as it is foun d in nature ' (shötoku no sansui) refers first of all t o the naturalnes s of th e arrangement s of rocks an d water , such as was discussed before when we spok e of th e rock arrangement s a t Mötsu-ji' s pond shore . Th e term also refers t o th e archetypica l images of natur e found in th e series of 'Styles' , found in the Sakuteiki. A shor t textual analysis of th e way in which the concept 'landscap e scenery as it is found in nature ' is used in th e Sakuteiki confirms our idea .

Some person has said tha t stones placed by ma n can never excel th e landscape scenery as it is found in nature . However , having seen many provinces , ther e may hav e been spot s which I though t of as excellent, bu t close by ther e were often unattractiv e things . But if some one con- struct s a garden , he only studies these attractiv e point s an d models thereafter , leaving ou t —and no t placing —these worthless stones. 13 7

The quotatio n shows tha t 'landscap e scenery as it is found in nature ' an d 'unattractiv e things ' consist of stones . Anothe r passage shows tha t the

57

term refers t o scenery tha t is of limited size. Because it is also one of th e places where Toshitsun a uses the idea of 'aestheti c sense' , I will quot e all of th e section. Althoug h not completely at the end of th e manua l the quot e has th e characteristic s of an epilogue . Toshitsuna :

I thu s have noted down , without discussing right or wrong all th e mat - ter s of placing stones as I have heard them th e last years . Paintin g Priest Enen was initiate d in th e secrets of placing stones . These document s were also passed on t o me. I therefor e could study an d understan d the main principles, althoug h aesthetic sense is never ex- hausted and ther e still ar e many point s tha t ar e beyond my understan - ding . But in recent years ther e is really no one who knows these things in detail . One merely looks a little at landscape scenery as it is found in nature , takes measures of it , an d start s th e work s (in th e garde n wk.) withou t takin g care of the taboos. 13 8

Landscap e scenery as it is found in natur e was something tha t could be measured , as we may guess from the above , t o copy it in th e garden . It can therefor e no t have been of a very large scale . Anothe r piece of advice in th e manua l applies 'a s it is found in nature ' (shötoku no) directly t o a waterfall scene.

Th e width of a waterfall has nothin g t o d o with its height . When we observe waterfalls as they ar e found in natur e we notice tha t high falls ar e no t necessarily wide

The term 'landscap e scenery as it is found in nature ' refers in th e manua l

t o landscap e scenery of water an d rock s an d in particula r t o small scale viewsof them . These views had a certai n naturalnes s tha t could be observ- ed in actua l nature . We may call t o th e mind th e naturalnes s of the wind an d water beaten roug h sea coast in th e garde n at Mötsu-ji . Rough sea coasts an d waterfalls ar e in fact also themes of poetry . But th e poetic themes tha t related t o plant s were never seen as a design proble m dealing with shape , whereas th e themes of landscape scenery as it is found in natur e ar e clearly seen in the Sakuteiki as a proble m of form; measures can be taken , an d th e quotatio n on th e waterfall speaks of width and

height . 'Landscap e scenery as it is found

in nature ' as a concept strongly

suggests tha t ideas on landscap e paintin g lie behind it. 14 0 Tha t Paintin g Priest Enen is mentione d in th e same passage may also poin t t o this . However, he was a painte r of religious subjects , an d no t of landscapes .' 4 1 But landscapes were, in fact, executed asa backgroun d t o certai n religious paintings , an d it is possible tha t Enen' s ideas on stones in the garden ha d

13 9

58

a connection t o the theorie s on paintin g these backgroun d landscapes .

These background s could namely represen t rocky landscapes , sometimes with a waterfall. 14 2 Landscap e paintin g an d itstheorie s would strongly in- fluence th e designing of forms in th e garde n in th e following centuries . Th e next par t treat s thi s extensively. At thi s poin t I conclude with th e sup - positio n tha t th e term 'landscap e scenery as it is found in nature' , as given in the Sakuteiki, is an early forerunne r of th e landscap e painter' s view found in th e garde n ar t of th e mediaeval period .

Crucial in th e abov e interpretatio n of 'landscap e scenery as it is found

in nature ' as a ter m relatin g only t o the naturalnes s of rock arrangement s

is my translatio n of ishi o tateru as 'th e placing of rocks' , its literal mean-

ing . Th e regula r textua l analysis of th e Sakuteiki never hesitate s t o stat e tha t thi s Japanes e is a pregnan t idiom serving t o mean 'th e buildin g of a garden'. 14 3 In thi s sense the term 'landscap e scenery as it is found in nature ' extends t o th e naturalnes s of all othe r part s in th e garden , in- cluding plan t material . As small a difference in textua l interpretatio n as thi s may seem, it touche s nevertheless upo n Heia n garde n ar t as a whole . It is my opinio n tha t th e ar t was in a formativ e stage , a perio d of primitiveness in which garde n makin g was only a n adaptio n of th e naturall y existing stream s an d pools of th e capita l Heia n an d th e decora - tio n of these with garde n rocks . I t was th e re-formatio n of a site int o an elegant space t o stage festivities, contest s an d boatin g parties . Th e plant s tha t were plante d were hardl y considered t o be something tha t belonged t o this re-formation . Trees an d shrub s were plante d t o provid e for a n elegant 'win d of a feeling' . It was feeling an d no t form tha t was thei r pur - pose . Because of thi s th e garde n planting s illustrate d on the scrolls appea r t o us , used t o formal compositions , as botanica l collections rathe r tha n as beautiful designs. 14 4

If one speaks of garde n makin g in th e Heia n period , one must no t im-

agine it t o hav e been th e moder n practic e in which th e garde n is created as a 'turn-key ' produc t tha t changes th e appearanc e of a site int o a new, overall conception . However impressiveth e emotiona l appreciatio n istha t

th e Heia n nobles ha d of thei r gardens , as a theor y of plannin g an d con-

structio n it was still a fragmented practice . Thu s ishi o tateru must be translate d as placing stones , because it was no t mor e tha n that . Th e Sakuteiki has served as an importan t garde n manua l for Japanes e garde n maker s of all ages . Also present-day garde n scholars , Japanes e an d also some Western ones , often discuss the manua l for th e practica l messages it has for th e moder n garde n maker . Of course it is perfectly all right t o interpre t th e text in this way. Tha t Japanes e garde n maker s are , for instance , wellawar e of thei r traditions , must be partl y du e t o thi s kind

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of commentaries . But if one studies th e manua l in its histori c context its meaning can no t have been th e same . Withi n th e present technology-oriente d cultur e of our urba n societies the advise of th e Sakuteiki on adaptin g t o nature , an d of being inspired by natura l scenery as it is found in nature , is refreshing in its antithesi s t o ou r ugly world. 14 5 Seen in thi s moder n way th e manual' s naturalnes s is a n anti-man-mad e naturalness. 14 6 However interesting thi s may be for the moder n philosophy of garde n art , it is historically no t correct . Seen in th e perspective of its time th e Heia n courtier s had n o reason t o be against man-mad e artificialities in thei r gardens . Emotion s rejecting th e artifice of ma n ar e recent . Th e course of history , an d late r chapter s of thi s work show , for in- stance , tha t with th e discovery in th e seventeenth century of mathematica l approache s toward s architectur e an d site plannin g also straigh t artificial lines became fashionabl e in garde n art . Man-mad e artifice became t o be appreciate d at tha t time . In th e Heia n period such artificialness was no t yet discovered, neither were th e nobles awar e of th e fact tha t they could design it consciously. Th e plea for naturalnes s a s it can be rea d from th e Sakuteiki ter m 'a s it is found in nature ' was no t an urge t o refrain from man-mad e artificialness .

4.5 THE POETIC IDEAL OF LONELINESS

Th e meaning tha t things of natur e gained from poetry , was th e basis of th e aesthetic sense of which th e Sakuteiki speaks . Thi s meanin g can be reconstructe d by studying poetry . We now know , for example , tha t th e flowers of th e Kerria wereconsidered most beautiful when reflecting upo n th e surface of th e water . The aesthetics of Heia n garde n ar t can therefor e no t be understoo d withou t knowledge of its literar y background . It is in- teresting tha t th e aesthetics of poetr y itself, as discussed in man y contem- porar y treatise s on th e ar t of writing poetry , were no t valid in garde n art . Values of beauty in poetr y were established qualitie s t o which a poem ha d t o conform , bu t thes e values were clearly to o abstrac t t o hav e any direct impact on th e Heia n perio d garde n theories. 14 7 Only indirectly , throug h th e meaning tha t thing s of natur e gained from poetr y could poetic aesthetics enter garde n art . In later centuries th e Heia n perio d ideals of beaut y in poetr y came t o influence th e designing of garden s in a direct way. Thi s last chapte r 4.5 therefor e introduce s some ideas on th e aesthetics of Heia n poetry . Th e first explicit statemen t regardin g th e ideals of poetr y was given in

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an introductio n t o the early tent h century poetr y collection th e Kokinshü, tha t enumerate d th e circumstances unde r which men of old composed poetry .

When they though t of thei r bygone days of manly youth , or retained bitte r feelings abou t th e one time of maiden bloom , it was with poetr y tha t they comforted thei r hearts . Again , when they looked a t th e scat- tered cherry blossoms of a spring morning ; when they listened o n an autum n evening t o th e falling of th e leaves; when they sighed over th e snow an d thei r hair a s silver waves reflected with each passing year by thei r looking-glasses; when they were startle d int o thought s on th e brevity of thei r lives by seeing the dew on th e grass or th e foam on th e water;

These word s demonstrat e how in poetr y natur e reflected huma n feelings of melancholy . I t isth e melancholy of time passing by , ascan be perceived in the passing of spring , or of beaut y fading away , as felt in th e scattered cherry blossoms . Th e inevitable cyclical processes of natur e mad e th e Heian noblema n sadly awar e of th e frailty of his own existence. 14 9 This melancholy became a n importan t par t of the code of beauty , abov e all in poetry .' 5 0 It isth e reaso n tha t autumn , the time of fading nature , became th e most favoured season as we can read in th e Tale of Genji. 15 1 In poetr y melancholy became a set qualit y with which poems were ap - praised . It often turne d t o images of fading cherry blossoms or othe r flowers. Sometime in th e twelfth century , a varian t kind of melancholy became accepted as a n aesthetic quality . It is a melancholy primaril y associated with loneliness. In poetr y it is evoked throug h an imagery tha t is monochromatic : distant , an d misty mountains , withered grasses , cries of a night-bird , an d so forth . Th e tone s of black , grey, an d brow n in these images ar e always connected t o loneliness. This aestheti c qualit y was call- ed sabi. 152 Th e poem tha t historically engendered th e recognition of sabi as an explicit qualit y of beautiful poetr y runs :

14

8

sabishisa wa sono iro to shi mo

nakarikeri no t t o be defined:

maki tatsu yama no aki no yitgure

Loneliness — the essential colour of beaut y

over

th e dar k evergreens, th e dusk

tha t gather s on far autum n hills .

Such was th e beaut y of loneliness. Th e lyrical beaut y of sabi only came t o be directly expressed in garde n ar t in th e seventeenth century . Aesthetics in Heia n garde n ar t were no t yet consciously developed. Chapte r 5.3 of par t thre e return s t o thi s point .

CHAPTER 1

DEVELOPMENT S IN MEDIAEVA L GARDE N AR T IN THEI R HISTORICA L CONTEX T

1.1 FROM A COURTLY TO A MILITARY ARISTOCRACY:

THE KAMAKURA PERIOD (1185-1334)

Th e centurie s following th e Heia n period witnessed th e rise t o political power of a warrio r class an d th e decline of th e Heia n courtl y aristocrac y as rulers. 1 Agricultura l productio n ros e steadily thank s t o th e slowly growing use of iro n tool s an d animal s for traction . I t alsobecame possible t o collect tw o harvest s of rice a year so surpluses could be traded. 2 Mor e contac t with neighbourin g Korea an d Chin a mean t th e establishing of por t town s an d tradin g cities , thoug h still of mino r significance. Wit h th e for- matio n of a merchan t class tha t followed, society in general became mor e open an d people mor e mobile . Coins , importe d from China , wereincreas- ingly used as currency , craftsmen became a distinct group. 3 Thi s meant tha t th e old manor-lik e landholdings , closed hereditar y unit s tha t paid thei r rent s t o th e imperia l governmen t in th e capita l Heia n graduall y loosened th e ties with th e capital . Becoming mor e an d mor e autonomou s they could star t t o manag e an d administrat e thei r own business . It seems almos t inevitable tha t th e manor s began t o assert their independence , if no t t o defend it agains t aggression from neighbourin g landholders. 4 Paralle l t o th e weakening contro l of th e centra l government in th e capital , struggles between local group s increased . This laid th e foundatio n for th e formatio n of anindependen t an d self-conscious warrio r class. 5 Even if th e Heia n courtier s ha d no t failed t o understan d th e course of history , they were simply by th e decaden t natur e of their manner s an d cultur e unabl e t o cope with it . At certai n disturbance s in th e capita l city th e cour t called in suppor t from provincial warrio r clans . But thes e supportin g group s on - lygained mor e strengt h throug h thes eevents; no t only materially , because of being well paid for thei r services, bu t abov e all psychologically, having supporte d th e weakening imperial government . When finally in th e thir - teent h centur y a n empero r trie d t o restor e imperia l rule an d plotte d against th e warrio r governmen t in formation , thi s adventur e turne d com- pletely t o th e profit of th e warriors. 6 By the n already an impressive

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political power they too k thi s insurrectio n as an excuse t o clean ou t th e capital city an d t o confiscate large landholdings . By distributin g these t o loyal retainer s th e positio n of th e military rule became so firmly establish- ed, tha t from thi stime onward s n oimperia l government regained absolut e power over th e country. 7 In a 'tria l an d error ' process tha t covered the one-and-a-hal f century of th e Kamakur a period th e military organizatio n developed as a pragmatica l government system. 8 It was based in th e military capita l Kamakura , from which th e period derives its name . Culturall y the Kamakur a perio d forms a n interlud e between th e flourishing Heia n courtl y cultur e an d th e later mediaeval perio d of the Muromach i period tha t is again straightforwardl y Chinese influenced. Signs of a reorientation , an adaptin g of cultur e t o th e new social an d political realities can be discerned. The waning of th e classical period is felt in th e increasing popularit y of th e sabi qualities in cour t poetr y still produced . Th e coming of a new age is foreshadowed in temple architecture , which is almos t literally copied from th e Chinese example . As for religion th e times seemed t o deman d individual faith an d endeavour . Th e new popula r Jöd o an d Zen sects of Buddhism could offer such religious experiences. 9 Besides, Zen ha d th e cachet of being a high class religion . In its homeland , China , it was practice d by man y intellec- tual s who even ha d connection s t o th e Chinese imperia l court . Zen was introduce d in Kamakur a in th e thirteent h centur y an d its meditative trainin g was practiced by th e highest rulers , th e regents of th e military government . Th e new religion ha d no t yet sufficient cultura l im- pact t o influence th e garde n ar t of Japan . A contemporar y pla n of th e Kencho-ji templ ein Kamakur a showsth e strictly Chineseplannin g scheme of amountai n monaster y (seefig. 17).'°At th e back of th ehallstha t mak e u p th e monaster y a garde n arrangemen t can be seen tha t is reminiscent of th e Heia n palaces . A pavilion extending from th e Large Guest Hal l jut s ou t over a garde n pon d spanned a t th e rea r by a decorative bridge . Thi s building an d garde n at th e back would have served t o receive importan t guests . Fo r the rest , th e only garden-like arrangement s ar e th e rows of junipe r trees lining th e mai n axis , which is completely within th e Chinese tradition .

1.2 THE FORMATION OF THE SCENIC GARDEN:

THE MUROMACHI PERIOD UNTIL THE ÖNIN WAR (1334-1467)

In th e beginning of th e fourteent h century anothe r attemp t a t restorin g

FIGUR E 17. Pla n of th e temple Kenchö-ji in Kamakura . Th e main gat e gave on t o the approac h that , lined with junipers , led t o th e main Buddha hall (adapte d from th e early fourteenth century original) .

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Imperial power was mad e by empero r Go-Daig o (1287-1339), first sup - porte d bu t late r frustrate d by a Kamakur a general . Th e latter , Ashikag a Takauji , after installing his own puppe t empero r decided t o choose th e capita l Heia n as locatio n for his government , an d called himself 'shogun'. 1 1 Even in th e face of th e decline in power of th e empero r an d his court ,

th e capita l of Heian , by now generally known a s 'Imperia l Capital ' or

Kyoto , was still a vital centr e of fine, bu t courtl y arts . Th e move of Ashikaga Takauj i t o th e imperial capita l itself can therefor e first of all be seen as significant of th e self-consciousness of th e warrior s as a social class . It mean t on th e othe r hand , nevertheless, tha t they were suddenly an d directly confronte d with th e rich classical tradition s of th e Kyot o court. 1 2 One gets th e impression tha t they intentionall y began t o cultivat e their own cultura l heritage s t o reinforce th e positio n of th e new shogunat e government , in orde r t o assert at least culturall y what they could no t reach politically: complete contro l over all of th e country. 1 3

The new cultura l positio n of th e Kyot o warrior s drew from several sources . Firs t of all elements from th e traditiona l courtl y cultur e were adopted . Secondly ther e was a stron g renewed influx from Chinese art s an d cultur e thank s t o th e increasing trad e with th e continent . Finally elements from th e art s of th e commo n people were patronize d an d gained

a statu s as aristocratic . Th e institutio n of Zen with its man y connection s t o the mainlan d was pre-eminently fit t o offer cultura l prestige . Withi n th e old capita l city, brimming with th e old aristocrati c tradition s of th e Heia n court , only Zen

and its priest s ha d a culturall y competitiv e positio n because the y were the carrier s of th e brillian t Chinese cultura l traditions. 1 4 Th e old Heia n courtl y life ha d found a n importan t par t of its stage in

th e palac e garden . Th e early mediaeval militar y as new rulers did no t

brea k with thi sidea. 1 5 Allth e gardens , in palaces aswell asin Zen temples tha t they sponsored , remaine d of th e classical pon d an d island type . But they were steeped in a new Chinese flavour . Unde r th e guidanc e of Zen priests typical Chinese architectur e — like zigzag runnin g galleries, tw o storied pavilions t o view th e garde n from above , etc . —was adde d t o th e garde n scene (see fig.18). Zen priests composed verses writte n in Chinese

o n plaquette s tha t were hun g over gates an d entrance s t o dra w attentio n

t o th e atmospher e of th e garde n scene.' 6 Althoug h remaining within th e classical garde n traditio n of th e pon d an d island , ther e was on e fun- damenta l change . Buildings were found within th e garden , whereas the Heia n palac e ha d faced th e garde n in an arrangemen t in which architec - tur e an d garde n were tw o separat e part s of a tota l arrangement . Th e

FIGUR E 18. Sketch , tha t gives a n idea of the buildings in th e early fourteent h century temple Saiho-ji . Not ealsothe cherry tree in front of th e main Buddha hall , the boa t mooring and the pines on th e islands , tha t were reportedl y covered with white sand . None of these buildings remains , the place ha s grown over with trees an d is at present popularl y known as th e Moss Templ e (kokedera).

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mediaeval garde n of th e pon d an d island type was n o longer th e stage for outdoo r ceremonies an d parties , it became th e setting for th e architectur e itself. Th e festive or ceremonial gathering s of th e aristocrat s als o began t o tak e place indoors , so tha t th e garde n became automaticall y a thing t o beviewed asoutdoo r scenery.' 7 Thi swas basict o th e main achievement in mediaeval garde n art , th e establishmen t of a scenic garde n style. 'Scenic ' in thi s respect does no t necessarily refer t o th e image of actua l natura l scenery, bu t solely t o th e outwar d compositiona l qualitie s of a garden view, however imaginary . Th e scenic qualit y of th e mediaeval garden is therefor e defined in contras t t o th e Heia n period garde n tha t showed hardl y any concern for designed form , for th e compositio n of a garden view. Some of th e early mediaeval garden s of th e pon d an d island type show such scenic aspects . But thi s conceptio n of garde n ar t is much better ex- emplified in the small courtyar d garden s of th e cultura l elite, th e Zen priests an d high class warriors . Consequentl y thi s par t concentrate s o n th e small mediaeval garden , rathe r tha n on th e developments in th e classical pon d an d island type . Th e garden s of the pon d typ e were still built as palace gardens , bu t now for th e residences of mediaeval wealthty military men or constructe d as settings for th e early Zen temples in Kyoto . The small garden s showing a design conceived as a scene ar e t o be th e found facing larger halls used for ceremonial o r cultura l gatherings . I will refer t o them as 'garden s of th e scenic type ' or 'smal l mediaeval gardens' . Though they were sometimes enclosed, th e term 'courtyar d garden ' places to o much emphasis on th e enclosing aspect which is no t importan t within th e framework of thi s thesis . In recent literatur e o n mediaeval garde n ar t th e qualificatio n 'karesansui' , or 'dr y landscap e garden ' isgenerally used . Th e ter m refers a t present specifically t o garden s employing certai n garde n materials , rathe r tha n determinin g the mediaeval achievement of th e scenic composition . Nevertheless my term s 'smal l mediaeval garden ' an d 'garde n of th e scenic type ' include th e mediaeval 'karesansui ' typ e of garden . The following chapter s attemp t t o reconstruc t th e development of th e mediaeval garde n as a garde n conceived as a scene. Besides involving research int o the establishment of an appreciatio n tha t recognizes th e out - ward appearanc e of a garde n as 'scenic' , also an inquir y int o th e forma - tio n of a design theor y t o compose a garde n as 'scenic ' has t o be made .

Th e rol e of th e shoguns as patron s of th e art s isculturall y most importan t in the first half of th e Muromach i period . Th e money t o thi s end came first directly from th e provinces , bu t facing th e increasing power of local

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group s who needed the money themselves th e Kyoto shogunat e turne d t o the Kyoto citizens. A grou p of moneylenders an d pawnbroker s was used mor e an d mor e by th e warrio r government as a fiscal agent . In th e later Muromach i period these rose t o such an importanc e in society, tha t as for these times rich citizens must be viewed as patronizin g arts. 1 8 Th e office of th e eighth shögun Yoshimasa ended in th e turbulen t period of th e Önin civil war (1467-1477). In an d throug h thi s war solidari - ty grew amon g th e Kyot o citizens. This amounte d t o systems of self government also found in some othe r cities. " Culturall y it mean t a predominanc e of urban , mor e popula r art s over th e aristocrati c shogunate' s arts , setting th e ton e for th e following cen- turies . Thus , cultural-historically , Yoshimasa' s reign an d th e Öni n war were a period of significant change , because n o shögun after thi s would exert any influence of importanc e on mediaeval culture . Th e following chapter s will speak of thi s period as late mediaeval . The times when shöguns were patronizin g art s — unti l th e first half of th e fifteenth cen- tury — will be referred t o as early mediaeval .

CHAPTER 2

LANDSCAP E CONSCIOUSLY CONCEIVE D ASART : SONG CHIN A

Scenic forms of garde n ar t requir e a consciousness on the par t of th e garden make r tha t elements of natur e can be formed an d shaped int o an aesthetically pleasing garde n scene. Th e landscape painter s of China' s Song dynast y (960-1279) possessed such a consciousness an d their pain - tings an d th e body of criticism belonging t o these ar e withou t any doub t linked t o Japan' s mediaeval scenic garde n style. It is likely tha t a scenic garden style existed in Song Chin a as well, an d tha t ther e has been a direct influence of Chinese ideas of gardening . However , wear e badly informed abou t th e actua l practice of garden makin g in Song China ; an inquir y int o landscape paintin g offers us a bette r insight .

2.1 SONG SOCIETY AND LANDSCAPE PAINTING

The Song dynasty in Chin a covers the late Heia n an d early Kamakur a periods in Japan . Th e dynast y witnessed unprecedente d economic growth , th e founding of a stable money economy an d rapi d urbanization . Wide spread commercial activities also included book printing . Paintin g began t o be viewed as an ar t rathe r tha n a craft. 2 0 Th e revising of th e Imperial Academy of Paintin g favoured thi s greatly . Als o th e activities of grea t scholar-painter s upgrade d th e statu s of paintin g from a craft t o an in- tellectual' s pastime. 2 1 Scholarshi p was favoured because of a shift in th e government system from rule by a hereditar y aristocrac y t o an 'aristocrac y of merit ' selected throug h an examinatio n system. 2 2 Th e scholar-government officials soon mad e u p an elite social class . Many of them were also active as amateu r painters , besides being grea t thinkers . Specifically monochrom e ink paintin g was popular , because it did no t re- quir e complicated technique s of execution . Produce d with simple means , aesthetic effect became a goal , rathe r tha n a perfect representation . Several of th e scholar-painter s occupied themselves with th e theoretica l problems of representatio n in painting . Theor y an d execution —literatur e and paintin g — were closely related activities of th e culture d gentleman . Judgment s on painting s as well as adde d poems , colophon s o r superscrip -

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tion s betra y thi s close relationship . Compilation s an d selections of these were edited. 2 3 Earlier , mor e mystical though t on the effect of representatio n in a pain-

ting was reinterprete d by Song scholars ; they discovered tha t it could reflect th e personal creativity of th e painte r an d be a result of his talent. 2 4 Awareness of self expression an d a persona l style is clearly present in th e works of paintin g an d letters of th e Song literati. 2 5 Generally speaking , it mad e a non-conformist , persona l approac h in ar t respectable , as is found amon g th e Song priest —, an d monk-painter s from th e 13th cen- tur y onwards. 2 6 T o be mentione d a t thi s poin t is th e scholar an d govern- ment official Su Dongp o (Su Tung-p'o , 1037-1101) active as a painte r of bamboo , rocks an d trees . Some of his remark s ar e found again in th e Japanes e mediaeval record s concerning garde n art . Besides, the Chinese

ideal of th e cultured intellectual as a 'hom o universalis ' inspired th e higher

classes of early mediaeval Japa n in some respects . Mor e direct influence of Chinese landscape ar t on Japanes e mediaeval gardenin g wil be due t o th e importe d Song landscap e paintings , an d its body of literar y criticism tha t reached Japa n from th e early fourteent h century onwards. 2 7 Productio n of landscap e paintin g in Song Chin a was not found amon g th e literati , bu t a t th e Imperial Academy an d in th e Zen temples aroun d th e capita l Hangzho u (Hangchow) of th e Souther n Song dynasty . Specifically thi s capita l an d period formed the source of th e Chinese influence on mediaeval Japanes e landscap e art . Lat e thirteent h centur y Hangzhou , therefor e after the Song dynasty , is described by Marc o Pol o as a bustling trad e city where th e higher classes enjoy a relaxed existence. Besides mentionin g man y gardens , Pol o alsoin- cludes a description of th e former palace of th e empero r with its many courtyard s an d concubines . As the Mongol Kublai Khan was the n ruling , th e palac e of th e Song ruler was deserted . Polo' s description must be con- sidered illustrative of th e previou s Song dynast y as well. 2 8 Th e flourishing of garde n ar t an d landscape paintin g in Song Chin a can be easily understoo d as expressing a romanti c view on natur e contrastin g to , bu t also stemming from , th e agitation s of Hangzhou' s city life as it is described by Marc o Polo . Th e landscap e painting s from th e Imperial Academy show very well the achievements in th e formulatio n an d applicatio n of compositiona l theories; 2 9 th e amateu r landscape scribbles an d painting s by literati and priests exemplify th e inspiratio n of Song landscape painting . Nevertheless the same inspiratio n is found in th e landscapes from th e Imperial Academy , like th e same compositiona l schemes ar e t o be found in the paintin g of th eliterat i an d priests .Th eZentemple swereno t isolate d from

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Hangzhou' s cultura l world , neither were they exclusively inhabite d by priests of the Zen sect. 3 0 For reason s of clarity I will discuss some of th e compositiona l ideas , takin g materia l illustrativ e of compositio n from th e academic paintings , while th e inspiratio n of Song landscap e paintin g will be illustrate d with landscapes stemming from th e Zen temples aroun d Hangzhou .

2.2 SONG LANDSCAPE PAINTING'S INSPIRATION

Song China' s social an d political constitutio n favoured scholarschip . It was th e great age of revising an d reviewing older though t an d philosophical ideas . In sophisticated thinking , correc t conduc t for th e in- dividual was containe d in on e single synthesis with th e creatio n of th e universe, as well as th e magnificence of th e phenomena l world of real nature , including again man , his civilization an d history. 3 1 Th e treatise s on these thought s drew no t only from philosophies of pas t times , bu t also from th e ancient speculations of a 'scientific ' or cosmos-explaining character , such as th e Yin/Yan g theories . Finally also Buddhist ideas , mystic Taois m an d simple superstition s were included . Such speculative syntheticism ha d brough t th e infinity of cosmos an d eternity in close con- nection t o daily life. Communio n of th e individual with a macrocosmic universe ha d been the ideal of Taoist s of old . T o attai n thi s they ha d devised certai n medita - tions an d breathin g techniques . These became now t o be practice d also by th e literat i and by painters . Th e intangible , magic Taois t notio n of macrocosmo s was now transferabl e t o a mor e intellectual level of infinity in time an d space. With th e achievements in philosoph y as background , natur e was perceived by painter s an d poet s mor e profoundl y as ever before as something of dept h in space an d infinity of time. 3 2 Perceivable an d comprehensibl e in th e far distances of actua l land - scapes, respectively in th e cycle of th e changing seasons , it is exactly these two ideas tha t form th e main inspiratio n of Song landscape painting . In th e traditiona l mountai n scene dept h an d distance ha d been expressed by means of overlapping mountains , separate d by layers of mist . These were now consciously constructe d as fore- , middle- an d background , an d employed as thre e or mor e planes in th e painting . Dept h was for instanc e added by a stream runnin g from a n unknow n backgroun d t o th e foreground , a t th e botto m of th e painting , as if flowing toward s th e spec- tator . This foreground was how artisticall y enforced by addin g some ar - chitectur e or tiny huma n figures, often crossing a bridg e tha t usually

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connects th e two mountainou s side scenes. 3 3 Specifically after th e move in th e 1120's of th e capita l t o th e souther n regions of China , th e landscap e painter s were mor e an d mor e inspired by th e soft end gentle landscapes of th e south. 3 4 Th e beaut y of th e partl y man-mad e scenery aroun d th e new capita l Hangzho u included wide expanses of water , like Hangzhou' s West Lak e an d th e river Zhe Jian g with its san d flats almos t touchin g th e city. Th e Dong Ting lake an d th e confluence of th e rivers Xia o an d Xian g some distance t o th e west of th e capita l mad e for othe r scenic beaut y of water landscape . Besides th e traditiona l mountai n scenery such vast expanses of water became increasingly used asa them ein landscap e painting . Distance of space an d infinity of time is agai n what th e painting s evoke . Th e water surface of a lake would merge with th e sky in a misty, undefined distan t horizon . T o givean effect of dept h a little boat , a n island or promontory , would seem t o float on th e water in th e fore- or middle ground . Infinity of time would be suggested for instanc e by birds , a troo p of gees flying t o thei r winter roost , or othe r phenomen a of natur e suggesting th e cycles of th e seasons . Poem s o r verse-like superscription s written on th e pain - tings greatly helped th e painte r in expressing his message. Needless t o say tha t remot e from everyday life a strong romanti c quali - ty can be ascribed t o th e landscape paintin g of Souther n Song. 3 5 This is clearly illustrate d with some sections of th e scroll Eight Viewsof the Xiao andXian byth e 13thcentury priest painte r Mu Xi (Mu Ch'i ) (fig. 19).Th e painting , importe d t o Japan , washiglyappreciated , ascan bejudge d from the seal of shögun Yoshimitsu attache d t o it .

2.3 COMPOSITION IN SONG LANDSCAPE PAINTING

No t onlyth e Zen priest painters , bu t alsoth e landscap e painter s of th e Im- peria lAcademy painte d inspired by th e ideas of infinity in time an d space . Nevertheless it isheretha t theestablishmen t of th e compositiona l schemes an d othe r rules of th e cano n of paintin g too k place . Landscap e paintin g ha d been a subject of intellectual discussion alread y for man y centuries . But th e earlier mysticism is now replaced by rathe r clear theorie s on , for instance , th e problem s of composition. 3 6 Th e activities of th e literati painter s were of course instrumenta l in thi s respect . Major progress in landscap e paintin g isth e increasing consistency of th e composition , as well as a convincing perspective of depth . In th e tradi - tiona l Chinese landscap e paintin g a centra l perspective with one commo n poin t of convergency was never used . Instea d dept h on th e flat surface of

FIGUR E 19. A scene of th e Eight Viewsof the Xiao and Xiang, attribute d t o th e Chinese painte r Mu Xi . Shown here is a detail take n from th e view titled "Bel l Sound from a Temple Veiled in Evening Mists" . Th e roof s of the temples can be made ou t amon g the trees tha t ar e almost completely covered in the haze . Th e sug- gestive effect is clear .

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a paintin g is attaine d throug h th e method s of diminishing size an d in-

distinctness of the objects further away . In othe r words a linear perspec- tive with n o fixed vanishing poin t is used in combinatio n with a distance perspective inherent t o th e huma n eye an d atmospheri c circumstances . Trees further away ar e smaller, vaguer , less detailed . Distan t mountain s appea r in Chinese landscape paintin g as misty, th e lower par t no t painte d as if invisible, covered in haze .

Th e lack of one centra l point of convergence allows for free composi - tion of scenes allover the surface of th e painting . Nevertheless, some kind of idea of perspective lay behind th e earliest Chinese landscap e paintings ; they have some perceptio n of depth . Based o n thi s older practice th e painte r Gu o Xi (Kuo Hsi , 1020-1090) formulate d his theor y on th e com- positio n of perspective. 3 7 In orde r t o suggest dept h his theor y gives thre e different compositiona l schemes using differing directions of view of a n imaginary spectato r looking a t th e landscap e in th e paintin g (see fig. 20). One is a compositiona l scheme in which a towering mountainou s land -

scape is seen as looking from

distance' . The compositio n of 'dee p distance ' is th e second scheme. It shows a frontal pictur e of, usually , an almos t inaccessible ravine-like landscape scene. We can look int o its dept h from an imaginar y vantag e poin t as if floating in th e air in front of it . I t shows a foregroun d down below in th e lower part s of th e pictur e and a far distance somewhere in the middle , deep in th e perspective.

below upwards . This is th e so called 'hig h

Th e thir d is th e directio n of view called

'level distance' . Th e perceiver

seems t o be looking down from a rathe r high stan d point , th e scenery stretches broadl y away from a near t o a far distance . Th e pictur e usually

has a foregroun d

when paintin g th e landscape. 3 8 Only on e or two , in unusua l cases thre e or mor e together , accordin g t o Gu o Xi' s theor y clearly defined viewpoints can thu s be applie d in one painting . This limitatio n in th e use of viewpoints makes for th e consisten- cy of compositio n in Song landscape painting . Dept h of perspective was created by paintin g overlapping planes , imagined t o be at differing

distances from th e standpoin t of th e onlooker . In distan t plane s trees an d mountain s ar e draw n smaller an d less detailed tha n in th e planes in th e foreground . The planes ar e separate d by mist or by water in form of a broa d river or a lake . All the overlappin g planes ha d t o be painte d next

to , or o n to p of each othe r (fig. 21). Specifically in composition s employ-

ing the deep an d th e high distance schemes, planes ha d t o be painte d on

to p of each othe r in orde r t o evoke an effect of depth . Consequently , as

for th e forma t of th e paintin g itself, quit e some height was needed . Ver-

o n which we can imagine tha t th e artis t was standin g

^A m ,

J O

\1P >

% V 'V'«

TV §w\

l&

w

"va*

pf â

!

fe ''i

w high

FIGUR E 20 . Thre e sketches tha t demonstrat e th e ide a of high, deep , an d level distance . See the text for further explanations .

FIGUR E 21 . Sketch tha t demonstrate s the Chinese techniqu e of achieving dept h in a painting . Planes of view ar e painte d on to p of each other , separate d by white space tha t suggests mist an d distance . Bridge, huma n figures an d trees in th e foreground ar e draw n proportionall y large r tha n th e buildings in th e background .

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ticality of compositio n is therefor e a characteristi c featur e of Song land - scape painting . In criticism of these days , landscap e painting s were expressly praised for thei r convincing dept h perspective in a consistent composition . Su Dongpo' s close friend Huan g Dingjian adde d for instanc e t o an otherwise anonymou s landscap e painting :

Th e stream s an d mountain s ar e deserted ; th e view is open an d exten- ding for thousan d miles

3

9

Anothe r critic , Deng Chu n (Têng Ch'un) , remarke d in a treatise , publish - ed in 1167 on certai n landscapes by th e empero r Huizon g (Hu i Tsung

1082-1135):

every squar e foot (of th e are a of th e painting ) opened a vista of a thou - sand miles

Probabl y thi s is mor e th e jargo n of th e period tha n an objective criticism on th e imperia l paintings . Abov e all particular , small sized landscape painting s tha t gained popularit y these days betra y th e full mastery of perspective an d compositio n techniques . On thes e small landscapes th e prais e ' A thousan d miles in a squar e foot of space' , became a common saying. Successfully evoking dept h was a n importan t poin t in criticism. But ther e was alsoth e artisti c intentio n t o evoke dept h an d long distances . This is exemplified intitles of Song landscap e paintings . Not e for instance the paintin g by Xia Gui (Hsia Kuei) titled A far-off Clear View over Streams and Mountains, or a paintin g said t o be his named TheRiver of Ten Thousand Miles. Some of th e works of thi s academi c landscap e painte r foun d thei r way t o mediaeval Japan . Some painting s of his con- temporary , M a Yuan , working in th e samemainstrea m landscap e style ar e also mentione d in Japanes e mediaeval catalogue s of painting. 4 0 Ma Yuan was praised for his unilatera l compositions ; landscape s with only on e side scene, dept h an d infinity suggested on the opposit e half of th e paintin g (fig. 22). 4 1 Some intrinsi c qualitie s of Song landscap e paintin g can be though t of as having prompte d its easy acceptanc e an d even high appreciatio n in mediaeval Japan . Th e formal compositiona l ideas , as well as th e literar y appreciatio n of dept h perceived in painting , could easily be transferre d as intellectual matte r togethe r with a general body of literar y knowledge . Th e early mediaeval military an d priestly circles were highly interested in literati like Su Dongpo . Besides this , the dream y qualities of th e Song landscapes ar e even toda y easily grasped , as they probabl y also were in mediaeval Japan. 4 2

FIGUR E 22 . Section of an academic Chinese landscap e paintin g tha t illustrate s compositiona l ideas tha t were employed in th e rock arrangement s for waterfalls in Japanes e gardens . The landscape paintin g belongs t o a set of twotha t isbelieved t o be from the Yuan period (1280-1368). It is kept in th e temple Eiho-ji tha t was founded by Musö Kokushi , whose date s ar e largely contemporar y t o th e Yuan period . (Cf. chapter s 3.2 and 4.2)

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When the Mongols in th e course of th e thirteent h century graduall y too k over the ruling power in all of Chin a many artist s and intellectuals had reasons t o look for a bette r place t o live and work . Th e age old examina- tion system tha t had encouraged scholarly an d artisti c pursuit s was disassembled. The Imperial Academy was closed. 4 3 Some painter s retreated , some were fired from official government service. And as wealthy ruler s in Japa n were interested in Chinese cultur e an d arts , some went t o Japan . Her e they found a comfortabl e life an d recognitio n no t in the last place thank s t o their ties t o higher circles, perhap s even t o the im- perial cour t of China . Chinese priests of th e Zen sect, especially, found a warm welcome in Kamakur a and Kyoto , as Japan' s cultura l innovatio n went by th e name of Zen . At first, only specialists in Zen religious matter s were invited t o reside in Kamakur a temples . But with the growing consciousness of being new rulers in Japan , th e cultura l content s of Zen became increasingly in- teresting t o the warriors . And after the shogunat e ha d moved t o Kyoto , with its traditio n of a brilliant imperial courtly culture , th e cultura l side became so importan t a s t o overshadow th e religious teachings of Zen .

CHAPTER 3

EARLY ZEN IN JAPA N

3.1 POLITICAL AND CULTURAL ROLE OF THE ZEN INSTITUTIONS

Th e old esoteric Buddhism of th e court , the metaphysics of which were elaborate d in impressive ceremonies an d decorative architectur e wassimp-

lyirrelevant t o thechanging condition s of society in th e 13than d 14th cen-

turies . It ha d n o message for fighters in war and simple people

unde r th e effects of it . Th e new interpretation s of Buddhism returne d t o individual faith as a cor e of teaching an d religious experience; thi s was quit e in contras t t o th e clerus of th e old sects tha t solved problem s with rites an d ceremonies . Simple piety is essentially th e teaching of th e new popula r sects. Th e new Zen sects aimed at a privat e search for trut h or th e reason of existence throug h meditative training. 4 4 Th e Japanes e monk s an d priests tha t went t o Chin a t o study Buddhism usually ha d some persona l disconten t with religion as it was taugh t or practiced as a motive for their journey . In China , almos t automaticall y they came int o contac t with Zen , th e only Buddhist sect tha t ha d survived t o a reasonabl e extent th e previous persecutions of Buddhists . These Zen temples , mainly the ones in th e hills aroun d th e capita l Hangzhou , ha d however admitte d in a syncretized manne r several othe r Buddhist teachings , now no t hear d elsewhere, as well as Taois t superstition s an d mysticism. Therefor e als o in many of th e writings of th e early Japanes e Zen priests we come acros s again thi s mixing of thought. 4 5 The priest Eisai (also Yösai , 1141-1215) was originally from a sect of theold esoteric Buddhism . Hetraveled twotimest o Chin a where he , apar t from Zen , again came int o contac t with esoteric teaching . After returnin g t o Japan , he continue d his studies o n esoteric Buddhism , strengthened by hisexperiences in China , trying t o restor e earlier teachings of it in connec- tion t o Zen . Part s of these older , nint h century teachings formed certain

techniques of mystic contemplation , tha t foun d a new paralle l in Zen' s meditative training . Eisai founded th e Rinzai sect of Zen in Japan . The origins of thi s Zen sect were closely connected with on e of th e existing sects of esoteric Buddhism . Theesoteric Buddhist sectsha d alwayspropagate d thei r rol e as benefac-

suffering

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to r t o th e state , t o secure patronag e from the rulin g classes. This became also necessary for the , now competitive , new Zen sect. This must be th e backgroun d of Eisai' s trac t with th e titl e Treatiseon Spreading Zen Bud- dhism and Protecting the Nation.* 6 Th e full flourishing of Zen syncretized with the older esoteric sects began with the move of Shögun Takauj i an d his government t o Kyoto . In

th e old capita l it was confronted

Heian cour t aristocracy . Th e esoteric teaching included in Rinzai Zen gained recognition . As for its religious content s th e new Buddhism had a conciliating effect, bringing togethe r th e two aristocracie s now residing in Kyoto. 4 7 Confronte d o n th e othe r han d with th e distinct courtl y cultur e an d th e remains of its political power structur e th e militar y government too k far reaching measures t o oppos e th e new religion as th e shogunate' s own cultura l an d political stronghol d against th e monasterie s of th e old esoteric Buddhism . These monasteries , specifically th e ones in Nar a an d on Moun t Hiei , northeas t of Kyoto , were powerful an d militant , defen- ding th e old political system of th e imperial court. 4 8

Takauj i established an institutio n of Zen monasterie s spread over th e whole country . Strongly advising, if no t actually commandin g Takauj i in this , was th e Zen priest Mus ö Kokushi (1275-1351). This monasti c system

devised by Mus ö was , shortl y after Takauji' s death , replaced by a similar

one , called the Fives Monasteries (gozan). 49

Monasterie s was mor e hierarchy-oriente d tha n th e previous institution . Thedivision of th e Five remained powerful well int o th e fifteenth century . Its strengt h was tha t it , as a nationwid e religious institution , formed an extension of theshögun' s power . It was basically a division of governmen- tal patronage , no t only in matter s of religion bu t alsoof cultur e in general . An importan t reaso n of existence of th e Zen monasti c institution s in th e early mediaeval perio d was therefor e political . Thi s soon mad e for trend s toward s secularization , specifically of th e Kyot o based Zen of th e Five Monasteries . Th e following chapter s search for a historical an d cultura l context of th e mediaeval garde n art , rathe r tha n a religious one .

with th e courtl y esoteric Buddhism of th e

Th e organizatio n of th e Five

3.2 THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSOKOKUSHI FOR THE EARLY MEDIAEVAL GARDEN ART

Th e nam e of Mus ö Kokushi is connected t o man y historica l gardens . In the following we will come across sources tha t stat e tha t he 'made ' gardens , which seems doubtfu l considering his political importance . A

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few attribution s are , judgin g from the dat e of th e garde n an d Musö' s dates , clearly falsified. A closer inquir y int o his perso n is necessary a t thi s point . Musö Kokushi was no t of particularl y high birt h althoug h his father was remotely related t o th e imperial family. His parent s died when he was only a boy an d his younger years were a somewhat restless search for knowledge an d religious experience. 5 0 As most earlier Japanes e Zen priests , Mus ö Kokushi also received his first teachings in the old esoteric Buddhism . In 1952 at th e age of twenty he went t o Kamakura , where at tha t time Zen was flourishing , sponsore d by the militar y regents . He studied Zen unde r thre e disciples of th e Chinese priest Lanq i Daolon g (Rankei Döryü in th e Japanes e pronuncia - tion) , who was sponsore d by th e highest Kamakur a regent in person . When Yining, anothe r Chinese priest showed u p in Kamakur a in 1299, Mus ö went t o study with him . Yining taugh t in most of th e Five Monasteries , an d was actually sent by th e Mongo l Kubilai Kha n himself as a gesture of good will, after th e latters ' failed attemp t t o conque r Japan. 5 1 Mus ö therefor e was taugh t by some of th e best Zen teacher s Japa n could offer at tha t time . Yining was probabl y th e first Chinese priest wh o also promote d mor e cultura l studies . Yining was a n amateu r landscap e painte r an d a n expert calligraphier, who wrot e in a flowing style, appreciate d by Japan' s courtl y circles. Furthermor e he laid stress on th e stud y of Chinese classical literature . Musö' s interest in Zen Buddhism was withou t any doub t also motivate d by th e access it gave t o Chinese cultur e in general . A particula r passion for garden s an d architectur e can be distinguished from his time with Yining onwards . Mus ö very openly reveals his interest in materia l cultur e in a late r quote d chapte r he wrot e on th e ar t of landscapin g an d the use of drinkin g tea , a beverage of great exclusivity in th e early middle ages. 5 2 Later , already rising t o th e height of his career , Mus ö personally under - too k steps t o open th e official trad e with Chin a again . Nevertheless Mus ö remains fully Japanese ; he could no t speak Chinese, he never traveled t o China . In Musö' s recorded dialogues with Tadayoshi , th e brothe r of shögun Takauji , as wellasin othe r texts from hishand , wecan feel his intellectual attitude . Problem s of cultur ean d religion Mus ö solves by reasoning . With him we find n o trac e of a Zen religious attitude . Th e dialogues resemble in no respect th e cryptic question/answe r games of th e early Chinese Zen- patriarchs. 5 3 Neither does anythin g in Musö' s dialogues recall a strict

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monasti c discipline of meditation , tha t should lead t o enlightenment. 5 4 Unlike the traditiona l Zen priest , always teaching in persona l confronta - tion with only a few disciples, heha d many disciples, a number tentatively given as 1300.This , of course , adde d greatly t o his fame . H e attracte d so many student s because of his practica l an d reputedl y friendly approac h when teaching . Mus ö managed t o become a 'countr y teacher ' (his honorifi c titl e kokushi) mostly because of his pragmati c way of dealing with student s whether monk or aristocrat. 5 5 Musö' s affection for natur e an d garden s is clear from his own writings as well as othe r literatur e from th e period. 5 6 Few contemporar y record s suggest a mor e direct engagement in buildin g o r designing gardens , bu t these ar e no t reliable as a historical source. 5 7 Moreover , generally speak- ing, th e gardenin g activities , ascribed t o him don' t surpass th e additio n of buildings or repairin g of older gardens . Anyhow , Musö wasa ma n of such high political standin g tha t it isques- tionabl e whether he would have ha d direct influence on any garde n work at all . Designers an d builders of gardens , working for him would have don e thi s ou t of grea t honour . Even if they would hav e liked t o get known , they will no t have attracte d very much attentio n standin g next t o one of th e leaders of th e Five Monasteries. 5 8 Besides, garde n designers hardl y appea r in written record s of these times , giving free play for later ascribing. 5 9 Therefor e it must be concluded tha t Mus ö Kokushi did no t 'build ' any garden ; it is also unlikely tha t he designed any . In th e best case he would have suggested th e renovatio n of certai n gardens , withou t however having had any direct influence on th e design. Mus ö Kokushi is abov e all of importanc e t o th e mediaeval garde n ar t inasmuch as he inspired th e wealthy military t o hav e garden s laid out . In thi s he differed from othe r high-rankin g mediaeval Zen priests , like Gid ö Shüshin an d Sesson Yübai , in th e specificity an d amoun t of his en- thusias m toward s garde n art. 6 0

CHAPTER 4

TH E EARLY MEDIAEVA L CHINES E INSPIRATIO N

Th e course of the mediaeval period in which th e attitud e toward s natur e changes toward s a mor e moder n on e begins with a period of stron g Chinese inspiration , no t t o sayimitation . This isnoticabl e in th e apprecia - tion of natura l scenery. But also garde n ar t an d its appraisa l relied on th e Chinese model .

4.1 LANDSCAPESCENERYAND ITSCHINESELITERARY INSPIRATION

Historica l record s describe the Chinese immigran t priests contemplatin g th e landscape of Japan . Notabl e is thei r interest in Moun t Fuji , visible from Kamakura , th e centr e of early Zen Buddhism . Th e mountai n with its strikingly beautiful shape ha d of course no t been unnotice d in previous centuries. 6 1 Fo r th e Chinesehowever it would have been viewed within th e whole context of mountai n romanticis m tha t pervades Taoism , landscap e paintin g an d th e Chinese Zen. 6 2 Th e earlier mentione d Lanq i Daolon g ha d arrange d togethe r with anothe r Chinese priest Wuxue Zuyua n (1226-1286, Mugak u Sögen, in Japanese ) a grott o halfway u p th e mountai n behin d Kencho-ji, th e main Zen monaster y in Kamakura . A n openin g commande d a fine view of Moun t Fuji , an d with thi s sight th e Chinese priest s practiced thei r medita - tions. 6 3 Wuxue was on e of Muso' s spiritua l fathers . When Mus ö wascall- ed t o head anothe r temple , Zuisen-ji in Kamakur a heha d a look-ou t built on th e hill behind thi s temple . Fro m thi s look-out , a pavilion called 'On e View' , one could see Moun t Fuji as well. A little lower, facing th e main temple buildin g a cave an d pon d were cut ou t in th e soft natura l stone. 6 4 The pavilion of Musö , the n already an importan t Zen priest , became so famous tha t a large amoun t of verses were written abou t it , some of these by Chinese priests . Most sites of Musö' s earlier dwelling places comman d fine views, nevertheless th e similarities with histeachers ' grott o ar e so ob - vious , tha t th e 'On e View' pavilion must be though t of as Chinese in- spired. Th e pavilio n overlookin g th e scenery of a natura l o r urba n landscap e

isalso commo n in th e Song garden . Allth e same ther e isa n importan t dif- ference in its use . Th e Chinese literat i used t o drink , jok e an d write poetr y with friends in such look-outs . They were places t o enjoy natur e in a leisurely way. Th e Japanes e mountai n pavilions were in th e early middle ages apparentl y no t used for purpose s of leisure an d pleasure , bu t served probabl y mor e as a statu s symbol . Japanes e early mediaeval priest s wrot e poems abou t each othe r pavilions , rathe r tha n in th e buildings when visiting each other. 6 5 Later , in his Kyot o years Mus ö ha d again a look-ou t buil t on th e hill at th e back of th e Saihö-ji temple . This pavilion was called 'Reduce d Distance ' (Shukueri). Th e nam e ha s reference t o th e Song perceptio n of landscape tha t was known , at least , as a literar y idea . 'Reduce d Distance ' will refer t o a far distan t scenery capture d an d reduced t o one view. 6 6 Th e pavilion offered actuall y four views throug h four openings in it . Gid ö Shûshin (1325-1388), disciple of Mus ö an d leader of his lineage after th e latter' s death , described the scenic beaut y viewed from th e pavilion as 'if in a painting'. 6 7 Similar passages writte n by Mus ö or his scribes speak of scenery aroun d temples as 'heave n opened paintings' , or mor e freely translated , 'heave n create d views'. 6 8 Perceiving natura l landscap e as scenery, as a painting-like image , betray s an intellectual way of perception , in which intellectual is con- traste d with an emotiona l appreciatio n tha t would speak of feelings, col- ours , smells, etc . Similar intellectual perceptio n could be exemplified by Musö' s usage of the phras e 'surplu s mountain , water remaining ' (zansanjösui). Th e term appear s in recent Japanes e literatur e on landscap e paintin g an d garde n ar t where it is usually explained as referring t o technique s of composition . It supposedly derives from Chinese compositio n schemes in ink-landscap e paintin g tha t were concerned with th e matchin g of th e oppose d identities of black an d white; mor e specifically it was th e balancin g o n th e pape r or silk of wide expanses , surfaces representin g water or misty sky, t o th e dar k volumes of mountains . This balanc e is fundamenta l t o composi - tiona l schemes tha t employ much white as for instance th e Xiao-Xian g paintings. 6 9 Th e phras e 'surplu s mountain , water remaining ' is in thi s view one of th e ways t o stat e thi s proble m of balanc e in th e compositio n of ink landscap e painting . Betha t as it may , Icould no t find any evidence in sources on Chinese histor y tha t thi s ter m refers t o compositio n in land - scape art . It appear s in th e writings of Song literat i — amon g other s of SuDongp o — an d seems onlyt o contai n poeti c connotation s of pas t glory when viewing certai n historica l landscap e scenes. 7 0 'Surplu s mountain , water remaining ' appear s again in connectio n with

86

Musö Kokushi , where it is used in description s of scenery seen from cer- tai n pavilions . In anothe r early mediaeval passage , no t by Musö , it isused for describing garde n scenery. It seems nevertheless a little prematur e t o conclude from thi s tha t techniques of compositio n from Song landscap e paintin g wereused in designing gardens. 7 1 Aprope r conclusion seems tha t among a few early mediaeval Japanes e Zen priest s perceiving of natura l scenery began t o be an activity of contemplatio n in which the y referred t o Chinese literatur e an d its mor e intellectual worldview, rathe r tha n t o Heian lyrics an d th e emotiona l perception . Aroun d thi s time th e verb 't o borrow ' began t o be used in description s of sceneries tha t 'borrowed ' a view over a natura l landscap e from a pavilion or a garden. 7 2 As all thi s was in th e first instanc e literar y borrowin g from Chinese classical literature , it remain s a questio n whether it was any mor etha n jus t that . Besides, these instances seem rare , th e grea t bulk of th e early mediaeval description s of views from pavilions keep after all t o th e tradi - tiona l Japanes e literar y themes of cherry blossoms an d autum n colours. 7 3 It is clear , however, tha t a t least th e though t tha t landscap e scenery could be appreciate d for its own sake was born .

4.2 SCENIC ASPECTS IN THE GARDEN AND THEIR CHINESE INSPIRATION: TENRYÜ-JI

No t only natura l landscape , bu t also garden s became appreciate d for thei r view. This can be grasped no t only from historica l descriptions of gardens , bu t also from still extan t gardens . Th e garde n at th e temple Tenryû-ji , in eastern Kyot o will be discussed as a representativ e example . Th e decision t o found th e temple Tenryü-ji was mad e in 1339 in orde r t o solace th e soul of Empero r Go-Daig o wh o ha d died in his exile. It was Mus ö Kokushi who instigated shögun Takauj i t o d o so. 7 4 Two political aspects related t o th e foundatio n of thi s new Zen temple shoul d no t be left unnoticed . Of course no t only th e soul of th e deceased Empero r was t o be consoled; also th e courtl y aristocrac y a s a whole ha d t o be mitigated , an d buildin g a templ e t o th e emperor s commemoratio n was a n emotional - ly well calculated an d politically no t very dangerou s measure . However , on the othe r han d it asserted th e new military leadershi p once mor e by choosing a spot tha t was praised t o th e utmos t in th e courtly lyrics. 7 5 Th e Oi river, with th e autum n colour s on th e hills o n th e poin t where it enter s th e valley of Kyoto , was lauded over an d again in the classical poetry . It belongs t o th e traditionall y celebrated scenic spot s an d appeare d for in- stance in a n earlier quote d section of th e Tale of Genji . Th e choice of thi s

87

are a with suchhighemotiona l courtl yvaluest o construc t a newZen centr e must be interprete d as a clear statemen t of power of th e new leaders . Together with othe r famous scenery in th e neighbourhood , like a natura l waterfall , an d a famous long bridge know n as Togetsuky ö tha t crosses th e Ôiriver , also th e spot with th e maples was included in a widely extending temple complex. 7 6 Shogun Takauj i even ha d cherries take n from Yoshino , th e place of empero r Go-Daigo' s exile, an d ha d them plante d on th e maple covered hill . Th e whole templ e trac t was clearly no t intended t o serve as a Zen establishment for monasti c training . Th e actua l buildin g work s starte d in 1340.On th e sitewher e th e templ e buildings were t o be constructe d ha d been courtl y palaces , like th e thir - teent h century Kameyama Don o of a retired Empero r Go-Saga. 7 7 One of theannexes of thi s palac e waslocated on or closet o th e famous mediaeval garde n tha t one can visit today. 7 8 However it is unthinkabl e tha t th e garde n date s back any earlier tha n th e fourteent h century . Th e design is soobviously based on Song period concepts of Chinese garde n design tha t it must have been built at th e foundatio n of th e Tenryü-ji . Th e temple belonged in fact t o th e grou p of temples set u p by Takauj i an d Musö Kokushi an d was soon take n u p as on e of th e Five Monasteries . I t was therefor e a centr e of learning in Chinese Song culture , for which a garde n in th e Chinese style was most appropriate . Most clearly inspired by Chinese Song landscap e paintin g is th e water- fall an d gorgeroc k compositio n of th e pon d garde n (see fig. 23). 7 9 As for the history of garden s in Japan , it betray s rathe r revolutionar y innova - tions . Thetypical waterfall compositio n of the Heia n period was very sim- ple in its construction . I t consisted of few stones over which water was mad e t o fall. Compare d t o thi s th e waterfall of th e Tenryü-ji is unusuall y high; the steplike constructio n is also no t found in th e typical Heia n garde n waterfall. 8 0 In its compositio n th e rock arrangemen t shows the same principles as the Song landscap e paintings . Firs t of all , th e height of th e composition parallel s th e verticality of th e typical Song mountai n landscap e painting . Asoppose d t oth e Heia n period landscap e scroll , th eusua l Song scroll was vertically unrolled , hanging on a wall, rathe r tha n lying o n a desk. As discussed before vertical length of th e paintin g was related t o th e composi - tion of planes t o evoke dept h of perspective. Furthermor e th e Tenryü-ji waterfall shows a stron g foreground , ar - tistically enforced by a horizonta l ston e bridge . Such bridges spannin g th e foreground an d connecting th e left an d right side scenes ar e foun d also in the Song landscapes . In th e ston e compositio n th e side scenes, in fact th e sides of a gully cut in th e slope , ar e mad e t o seem massive an d impressive

FIGUR E 23 . Sketch showing th e composition s of natura l rocks for th e waterfall in the garde n at the temple Tenryü-ji (early fourteent h century) . A little islet lies in the foreground , a stone bridge spans th e middle groun d in front of th e stepped waterfall . Compar e with figure 22 t o see th e resemblance with the compositio n of the same kind of scene in Chinese landscap e painting .

89

with big boulders , pu t u p at th e edges. In between , a far distance is visualized in th e uppe r step of th e waterfall . A misty qualit y is enhanced

byth e shad e of th e trees tha t han g over it now . A craggy island floats with its image mirrore d o n th e water surface , in front of th e ston e bridge . In

a Song landscap e paintin g it would rise ou t of th e mists . This littl e island catches th e sunlight fully, it givesa clear image as oppose d t o th e shadow- ed formation s inth e background . We might wonder nevertheless, whether the trees in the fourteent h century were as importan t in directing th e light as they ar e at present . It is questionabl e whether th e colou r of the stones was intentionall y chosen t o resemble th e tone s in Chinese ink painting . Th e colou r is mostly in th e blueish range . These stones ar e a blue-green schist from th e Kishü

region . Th e laboriou s transport , alon g the coast by ship an d u p th e rivers (past presentda y Osaka ) t o Kyoto , suggest a conscious choice of Kishü schist as garde n material . Even mor e because many blue-blackish or brown-blac k stones can be found in th e riverbeds of Kyoto. 8 1 Th e lower step of th e waterfall features a t a conspicuou s poin t in th e compositio n

a reddis h Kishü schist. It is very likely tha t on e sees in th e waterfall com- positio n of th e Tenryü-ji temple garde n a fashionabl e use of conspicuous - ly coloure d stones , rathe r tha n a choice of colou r related t o Chinese ink painting. 8 2 However , in anothe r aspect th e garde n of Tenryü-ji shows a mor e im- portan t effect of continenta l influence. Th e garde n an d abov e all th e waterfall compositio n across th e pon d is mean t for contemplation . It is

meant t o beviewed from the abbots ' quarter s tha t ar e facing it (fig. 24). 8 3

Th e garde n of th e Tenryü-j i is no t designed t o be appreciate d from

th e garde n itself. N o boatin g partie s ar e t o be mad e on its small pond . It

is t o be perceived from without , like a painting . Thus , th e Tenryü-ji garde n ishistorically importan t in tha t it shows a first convincing example of conceiving a garde n as a materia l work of ar t tha t can be appreciated .

Natur e in thi s garde n is n o longer a setting , a backgroun d for partie s or an inspiratio n for enjoyment of natura l beaut y in form of lyrical themes .

It is nature , designed by man as form .

In thi s respect th e garde n shows further parallel s t o continenta l garde n design, apar t from th e waterfall arrangemen t described above . A little t o

th e right of it , when seen from th e main hall , is found anothe r miniatur e

gorge at th e pon d shore , again spanne d by a bridge . It consists of one

single slab though , th e 'gorge ' is als o smaller . A pat h connect s th e tw o bridges an d continues along th e curves of th e pon d shore . Rocks , set u p

at th e edge of th e water serve as an embankment , bu t also borde r th e pat h

on th e othe r side. Othe r natura l stones ar e set u p in rows t o retai n th e soil

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from th e slopes tha t borde r th e pat h on the side opposing th e water . Th e width of th e pat h tha t run s between the slopes of the hillocks and th e water of the pond , varies from place t o place . T o th e left, when seen from the main hall , it gets as wide as t o be called terrace , rathe r tha n a path . The design idea of stepwise embankmen t or retainer s ou t of standin g rocks , with pathway s of variabl e width is clearly Chinese. 8 4 Also in the Chinese concept the pat h with its varying width includes little bridges tha t cross outlet s of miniatur e gorges , tha t face a garde n pon d an d a main building . Th e scale of th e Tenryü-ji garden , including its mai n buildings is also very similar t o th e size of comparabl e Chinese types . Wha t makes for a completely different image thoug h is th e spars e use of stones with simple shapes in th e Tenryu-ji garden . It look s less artificial tha n th e rockery garden s in China .

Many writers on Japanes e garde n ar t ascribeth e garde n t o Mus ö Kokushi . This relies probabl y in most cases on popula r 18th century garde n book s tha t give thi s attribution. 8 5 It date s initially back t o a passage in a four- teent h century epic chronicle , Taiheiki, tha t state s tha t he mad e th e garden . However th e general characteristic s of thi s work , set u p t o be an heroic journal , d o no t mak e it very reliable as an, histori c source. 8 6 Neither can a recor d of th e groun d breakin g ceremonies performed by Musö , nor th e Chinese verses he wrot e on th e scenery of th e temple com-

pound , be take n as proo f tha t he buil t or designed th e Tenryü-ji

garden .

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waterfall

arrangemen t at thepon d shore . Generally speaking this , rathe r sudden ap -

pearanc e of so strongly Song influenced rockwork , canno t be ascribed t o an indigenous Japanes e like Musö . Mus ö himself could no t hav e ha d such detailed knowledge, he did no t paint , he never went t o China . Besides, Songlandscape paintin g wasno t yet importe d o n alarge scale;a catalogu e of th e 1320's mention s only four landscapes , tha t would no t have necessarily been mountai n an d gorge scenes, such ascreated a t Tenryu-ji' s pon d edge. Th e Japanes e painter s only hesitatingly experimented with th e new perspective of landscape. 8 7 This will suffice as evidence t o stat e tha t only a n immigran t could have been well enough informed o n th e techniques of compositio n in Song landscape ar t t o be able t o apply them in a garde n design. This could have been th e earlier mentione d Yining, or somebody related t o him . As an of- ficial ambassado r of th e new Chinese ruler Kubilai Khan , he must have ha d person s in attendanc e who might have been familiar with gardenin g techniques . Besides th e waterfall arrangemen t th e concept of pon d an d hillock, with winding pathway s in between rows of rocks used as retainer s

92

is so typically Chinese in concept , tha t one also hesitates on thi s poin t t o attribut e it t o an early mediaeval Japanese . Furthe r evidence t o attribut e th e design t o a Chinese artis t isth e so call- ed 'car p stone ' halfway u p the waterfall (fig. 25). At th e side of the uppe r step of the waterfall is a curved ston e with a split tip , quit e suggestively representing a fish jumpin g u p th e rapids . It isgenerally accepted tha t thi s stone relates t o the Chinese legendary story of a car p that , after suc- cessfully ascending th e gorges of th e Yellow River at Lung Men (which means 'Drago n Gate') , will tur n int o a dragon . In Chin a it was a metapho r for passing th e examination s giving access t o importan t posi- tions as officials in th e government . Passin g th e examination s was passing th e Drago n Gate . A car p leaping ou t of th e water is a commo n motif in Chinese art. 8 8 This would lead t o anothe r hypothetica l attributio n of th e waterfall rock groupin g t o th e Chinese Lanq i Daolong , perhap s bette r know n unde r th e Japanes e pronounciatio n of his name , Rankei Döryü . Thi s Chinese Zen priest came t o Kyot o for thre e years t o deal with question s on Zen matter s a t th e cour t of ex-emperor Go-Saga , whose palace , as mentione d above , was located a t th e present site of th e Tenryû-ji temple . Two othe r temples tha t Lanq i Daolon g revived durin g shor t period s of residence also have th e same type of 'Drago n Gate ' waterfall an d in Kamakura , in the temple Kenchö-ji where Lanq i lived permanently , isa pictur e representing such a Drago n Gat e scene with a jumpin g fish. 8 9 Again , n o documentar y evidence exists tha t proves his engagement in constructin g these Drago n Gat e waterfalls . And as hold s tru e for Musô , Lanq i was a very high rankin g priest , who certainly would no t have hand - led th e garde n stones himself. Chronologicall y speaking th e Drago n Gat e Waterfal l appear s a s a design scheme in abou t the same time as the foundatio n of th e temples concerned , tha t is th e early fourteent h century. 9 0 Only after mor e tha n a century late r thi s typical waterfall arrangemen t reappears , bu t the n the techniqu e of Song landscap e paintin g is alread y completely accepted an d understoo d amon g th e Japanes e painter s of th e academy . Drago n Gat e waterfalls appea r for instanc e in garden s ascribed t o th e Japanes e painte r Sesshû, a virtuos o painte r of Song style landscapes an d well informe d on techniques of composition. 9 1 Early mediaeval Song style waterfall rock arrangement s of th e type referred t o as Drago n Gat e —as at Tenryu-ji — ar e anachronisms . They must be ranke d as import s alongside th e Song landscap e painting s tha t were introduce d in th e early fourteent h century . Such landscape ar t was greatly admire d in th e shôgun' s aristocrati c circles, bu t no t well enough

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understoo d t o have been produce d by indigenous artists . Mus ö Kokushi had many disciples an d as a crucial figure in th e establishment of Zen an d the Five Monastery organization , th e Dragon Gat e waterfall would cer- tainly have brough t abou t a mor e continuousl y lasting garde n design pricinple if built by Mus ö himself. A possible Chinese attributio n left aside , it is safe t o conclude tha t Mus ö Kokushi did no t build the waterfall composition at Tenryü-ji . Neither did he design it .

4.3 THE MEDIAEVAL SCENIC GARDEN AND ITS APPRECIATION

In the literatur e on th e history of Japanes e garden s I found some mediaeval records tha t express a spectator' s appreciatio n of a scene on seeing a garden. 9 2 These statement s ar e treate d chronologically on the following pages . Remarkabl e is at first sight th e wonder expressed at perceiving an aweinspiring landscap e scenery containe d within th e limited size of a landscape garden . Needless t o say tha t thi s idea is Chinese in- spired. On viewing the garde n of a certai n priest Dokush o in 1346, th e Zen priest an d poet Sesson Yüba i said, as is recorded :

A little grou p of fist-big stones makes th e effect of a thousan d miles. 9 3

Thi s Sesson Yübai had lived in Chin a for mor e tha n twenty years an d was one of th e eminent figures in Chinese learning a t th e Five Monasteries . Some decades later anothe r priest , who ha d held importan t post s in the Zen centres Tenryü-ji an d Kennin-ji an d was well informed on Chinese matters , ha d a garden built for Musö' s successor, Gidö Shüshin , when he retreated . Th e latte r praised his garde n in 1384 as follows:

The suggestive effect of thousan d cliffs and te n thousan d valleys is evoked on a tiny piece of land east of th e house .

In the sameyear the shögun Yoshimitsu himself visited Gid ö in his retreat . Then a poetr y gatherin g was held , in which thre e or four courtier s an d some od d ten or mor e priest s also participated. 9 4 On e of th e guests ha d brough t with him a scroll paintin g titled : New Illustration of the Tiny Scene of a Ravine in the Mountains, as a source of inspiratio n for th e poetry occasion . Th e titl e of this scroll seems again t o indicat e tha t an im- pressive mountai n scene was rendere d well on th e small forma t of th e scroll. Th e atmospher e was inspiring an d amiable , as th e passage closes. 9 5

In a passage date d 1466, a somewhat similar idea is expressed again . It

95

praises th e small garde n of a sub-temple of the Shökoku-ji , a monasti c temple rankin g high in th e Five Monaster y hierarchy . This garde n was made by Zen'ami , who was unde r direct patronag e of the shögun Yoshi- masa . Th e recor d says :

Th e far an d near distan t peaks an d gorge ar e unusuall y superior , seeing thi s one gets no t satiated an d before one realizes it one has forgotten t o go back. 9 6

At thi s time miniaturize d landscapes in th e form of bonzan tra y land- scapes, forerunner s of the present day bonsai miniatur e trees , were ap - preciated by the same shogun Yoshimasa. 9 7 Again these ar e viewed as suggestive of an awe inspiring landscap e scene. A recor d of 1466 notes :

Little water , little waves, seen far away, it looks like th e spirit of an estuar y mountai n of ter n thousan d miles. 9 8

Similar passages from othe r sources exist. Actually thi s bonzan tra y land- scapes became a kind of craze : a gatherin g where all th e temples of th e Five Monaster y grou p set u p th e tra y landscapes they possessed is recor- ded in 1463, shogun Yoshimasa was present for a n inspection . The last quotatio n is take n from th e late 15th century Chinese verses of the Zen monk Hannyab ö Tessen on th e garde n at his retreat :

Th e five highest mountain s soar against an an t stack , th e wide ocean looks down on a frog hole . Directions of far an d near have n o boun - daries , as if 30.000 miles ar e containe d within a squar e inch. 9 9

Althoug h most of th e passages quote d ar e record s written by Zen priests , members from th e military elite aroun d Yoshimasa' s time also voice thei r appreciatio n of impressive mountai n scenery perceived in small garden s or in miniatur e tra y landscapes , becoming popula r a t the same time , th e end of th e fifteenth century . A mor e general notio n tha t relate s t o th e formatio n of th e scenic garde n isth econceptio n kasenzui or 'moc k landscape' . Fro m th e beginning of the fourteent h century onward s th e word kasenzui, or kazan, 'moc k moun - tain' , began t o appea r rathe r often in th e mediaeval record s t o denot e a garden. 10 0 Th e word kazan has also been used throughou t th e history of the Chinese garden , pronounce d jia shan t o indicat e man mad e rocky hillocks . As for th e Chinese garde n history jia shan is translate d as 'ar - tificial mountain' , or 'moc k mountain'. 10 1 Analogu e t o th e usage in theor y of Chinese garde n histor y I translat e kazan as 'moc k mountain ' an d kasenzui as 'moc k landscape' . In the earliest record s of Chinese garden history th e mock mountain s seem t o have been buil t by Taois t

96

magicians , constructe d as a pile of eart h in which rock s were set. Later , particularl y durin g an d after th e 'roc k craze ' of th e tent h t o twelfth cen- turie s th e mock mountain s were constructe d solely of rocks piled on to p of each other . In th e souther n Song perio d specifically th e are a aroun d Hangzho u was known for its stone workers specializing in building mock mountains.' 0 2 The following addresses some record s o n th e mock landscape , tha t shed mor e light on th e formatio n of a scenic typ e of garden . Documentar y evidence gives no t enough substance t o conclude anythin g in th e concrete as for th e appearanc e of th e mock landscape . However , the Chinese in- spiratio n is clear. It is further remarkabl e tha t again man y of th e record s relat e t o th e person of Mus ö Kokushi . In 1333 Mus ö ha d a mock landscap e laid ou t facing th e east side of Sansö-in tha t was a sub-temple of Rinsen-ji . I t is no t exactly clear what thi sgarde n looked like . Fro m an admonitio n of Mus ö in th e writte n hous e rules , tha t still exist, of th e Rinsen-ji temple it ca n be concluded anyhow tha t it concerned a small scalegarden . Mus ömention s th e mock landscap e in th e same section as in which he stresses th e usefulness of vegetable

gardens laid ou t by monk s themselves

within templ ecompounds . One gets