Education About Asia: Online Archives

The Japanese Garden: Gateway to the Human Spirit

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The majority of books on the subject of Japanese gardens are coffee-table-size instruction manuals. These provide some cursory historical background, but mostly they elucidate fundamental principles of design in combination with copious and beautiful color photographs of famous ancient and modern examples by which to inspire the courageous gardener. To the untutored, Japanese gardens might seem, based on these sources, to be all of a kind, piecing together requisite features of water holes, stone and pebble arrangements, and plantings to form an aesthetic statement expressly Japanese.