Item description for Courtyard Gardens of Kyoto's Merchant Houses by Katsuhiko Mixuno & Lucy North...
One of the pleasures of visiting Kyoto is to wander around narrow streets lined with machiya, the traditional townhouses of the merchant class. Tucked away inside each of these unusually long, narrow dwellings is a hidden oasis: a small garden known as the tsuboniwa. Following on from Landscapes for Small Spaces and The Hidden Gardens of Kyoto, the third book by garden enthusiast and photographer Katsuhiko Mizuno focuses on these miniature courtyard gardens of the machiya. A wide variety of gardens are beautifully photographed and presented: from those in shops, inns, restaurants, and tearooms, to gardens in many private homes. A total of 150 color images from fifty-two houses showcase the flawless Kyoto aesthetic and use of limited space. Surrounding architectural features, such as shoji sliding doors, reed blinds, beams, railings, and walkways are also featured. Each photograph is accompanied by analytical and insightful comments from the author, making this a useful reference book for all garden lovers, as well as a visual feast for anyone with an interest in traditional Japanese design.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 9" Height: 11.75" Weight: 2.76 lbs.
Release Date Dec 15, 2006
Publisher Kodansha International
ISBN 4770030231 ISBN13 9784770030238
Availability 0 units.
More About Katsuhiko Mixuno & Lucy North
KATSUHIKO MIZUNO, born in Kyoto in 1941, graduated from Doshisha University and the Tokyo College of Photography. His photographs are on display in the Kyoto townhouse he renovated and converted into a museum.
Reviews - What do customers think about Courtyard Gardens of Kyoto's Merchant Houses?
"Let the stones speak with tongues that talk all tongues." Jul 3, 2008
Kyoto is one of the most aesthetically refined cities in the world. In the summer, it's also one of the hottest. So naturally this fine city's residents beat the heat in a manner both tastefully elegant and ingeniously functional. And that's the subject of this lavishly illustrated book: tsuboniwa, smallish gardens set within the structure of Kyoto's machiya townhouses so as to facilitate the flow of cool air through the premises as well as provide a little microcosmic world apart. While significantly informed by the conventions of teahouse "roji" and Buddhist temple layout, these diminutive landscapes tucked within the bustling merchant households of the urban and urbane old capital have a sense and a style all their own, one that's beautifully communicated through Katsuhiko Mizuno's fine full-page photographs and his insightfully expert if occasionally gushing commentary. The many kinds of rocks and stones serving as the principle elements of design and texture in these gardens are explained in full (with a handy list in the back), and something of the history of many of the old venerable townhouses featured in these pages is touched upon as well. All in all, then, this is a gorgeous coffee-table book that's also nicely informative. And it's great for breezing through with an ice-cool glass of mugi-cha tea. Check it out!