Item description for Japanese Gardens (Midsize) by Guenther Nitschke...
Nature crafted by man
The Japanese garden, like all gardens, is more than mere nature; it is nature crafted by man. It needs the hands of the designer to give it meaning. The Japanese garden belongs to the realm of architecture; at its best, it is nature as art. The phases of its history document the constant redefinition of man's position within and towards nature. Its changing forms respond both to socio-economic developments and to religious and philosophical trends, and thereby reflect the spiritual climate in which its architecture was conceived.
At the same time as detailing the characteristics distinguishing and differentiating each of the five major epochs in the history of the Japanese garden, the author identifies the common motif which underlies them all: the recurrent attempt to unite beauty as natural accident and beauty as human-perfected type, to achieve an aesthetic symbiosis between the seeming randomness of natural form and the strict geometry of the right angle.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.74" Width: 7.92" Height: 0.72" Weight: 2.06 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2002
ISBN 3822820350 ISBN13 9783822820353
Reviews - What do customers think about Japanese Gardens (Midsize)?
Lousy book design Jan 6, 2008
The author must know what he's writing about - he's a Professor! He has included lots of garden theory, which I have to assume is actually important to Japanese garden design. And, as you might expect, the pictures are glorious. But the correspondence between the text and the pics is awful. As I read the text, I had to leaf through the book forwards and backwards to find a relevant illustration. If the author describes a trend in garden design, is it too much to ask that he direct the reader, immediately, to a specific picture that illustrates his point? Shouldn't the text explain the pictures? or the pictures exemplify the text? Shouldn't the linkage between the two be strong and direct? Is this so difficult? I am disappointed in this book; there must be better ones.
great value! Dec 21, 2007
Taschen publishes some of the best values around and this book was no exception.My only complaint is that we don't see more small private gardens in this volumn .This is a good introduction to Japanese style in the garden.
Man's search for his place in nature is a search for himself May 11, 2006
"...our earth is both a living and conscious entity. . .when a human being becomes conscious of himself as part of the earth, and of the earth as part of the universe, so the universe itself thereby becomes conscious of itself. . . enlightenment. . .consciousness becoming aware of itself.
At this delicate moment... a flower opens in the "garden" of the universe."
Japanese Gardens is a 239 page historical visual spiritual odyssey through man's interpretation of nature in confined space. Chapter subheadings focus atmosphere: Gardens as mindscapes, Gardens as subsitutes for travel, Gardens of seclusion, Gardens of austerity, Gardens of joy.
Drawings, b/w and color photos illustrate the history and evolution of Japanese garden design.
The book Intimate Spaces by Joe Earle, exclusively color photographs of spiritual gardens, is a fine complement to Nitschke's book with it's comprehensive written text.
Video sources of garden inspiration can be seen in movie backgrounds: Shogun (5 disc 12 hour miniseries on DVD with extra disc explaining tea ceremony, geisha, samurai), Sayonara (tiny household garden, public garden spaces), The Last Samurai (community as garden, cherry blossom garden), Memoirs of a Geisha (cherry blossom garden).
Actual Japanese Gardens to visit: Japanese Garden San Francisco, Japanese Garden Portland Oregon, Hakone Garden (site of filming of Memoirs of Geisha) Saratoga Village (south of San Francisco) California.