Sunday, October 14, 2001
Explore japanese gardens Sen-no-Rikyu built a garden enclosed by a tall hedge that blocked the view of the sea. The client for whom the garden was built was unhappy - until he bent to wash his hands in the water basin. The sea then became visible in a gap between the hedges and the client smiled.
As the tea master had hoped, the client realized the intent behind the design as his mind made the connection between the water in the basin and the great ocean and thus between himself and infinite universe.
SEVERAL ELEMENTS common in Japanese gardens are very appealing to me. While I don't find inspiration in the sere Zen gardens of gravel and rock, I am touched by the varied elements of a stroll garden: on a twisty path, the glimpse of further vista beyond the flowering shrub here; the little arched bridge across a tiny stream; the flash of golden carp contrasting in color and mobility with the stately purple irises at water's edge.
I admire the wooden elements - the tea house, simple yet elegant; the wall with a little roof of its own; the variety of gates inviting further exploration; the clever water-weighted pipes delivering fresh water to a hand-washing basin outside the tea house; the waiting structures that resemble bus shelters where one composes oneself before the tea ceremony.
I have collected links to several web sties that have photos of some of these garden features.