The Art of Setting Stones: And Other Writings from the Japanese Garden

The Art of Setting Stones: And Other Writings from the Japanese Garden

by Marc Peter Keane, Marc Peter Keane

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In Japanese gardens, composition follows from placement of the first stone; all elements and plantings become interconnected. These eight essays on Kyoto gardens similarly begin with keen description and build into richly meditative excursions into art, Buddhism, nature, and science. Landscape architect Marc Keane shows how Japanese gardens are both a microcosm of the natural universe and a clear expression of our humanity, mirroring how we think, worship, and organize our lives and communities. Filled with passages of alluring beauty, this is a truly transcendent book about "experiencing" Japanese design.

Marc Peter Keane has lived in Kyoto for 17 years and is author of Japanese Garden Design. He designs residential, company, and temple gardens.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781880656709
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
Publication date: 09/01/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

Gardeners have their rituals, like breaks for tea at ten and three, and on chill mornings a fire always precedes the beginning of work. As I enter the circle, white smoke rises from a small pile of twigs in the can, flames licking through the wood, crackling. The warm glow bathes outstretched hands, flickers across faces. We shuffle and clap, sip tea from thermoses, talk eagerly about nothing. One of the young men picks up a handful of loose twigs, snaps them in two. Some spicebush must have been mixed among them--a sudden sweet scent hinting of cinnamon mixes with the woody smoke. We have been working together for the last few days, building a small garden in front of a sitting room recently added to the side of an old home. Last year, clearing space for the new construction, we removed part of the old garden, saving what we could reuse and selling the rest to others in the trade. In Japan, garden materials--plants, stones, lanterns, and the like--make rounds through gardens like bees at flowers, and though their journey is less fleet, like them they occupy any one spot only temporarily. Those that remain in place for centuries are rare; most are destined by the vagaries of history to a more transient life. The boulder waiting by the path is like that. It had been in the garden of a merchant's house for many generations before coming to this garden; and that was over seventy years ago. When we dismantled the old garden, we took it out, temporarily, and the construction of the new one will begin by putting it back: a link from old to new.

Table of Contents

Closing the Circle43
The Art of Setting Stones119

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