Friday, August 27, 2010

Kenroku-en 兼六園

Kenroku-en, or Six Attributes Garden, located in Kanazawa, is a celebrated formerly private garden; that along with Kairaku-en and Koraku-en, is considered one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. The garden is located outside the gates of Kanazawa Castle where it originally formed the outer garden, and covers over 25 acres. The gardens name references the six attributes of a perfect landscape garden: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, waterways, and panoramas, as recorded in the "Chronicles of the Famous Luoyang Gardens," a book by the Chinese poet Li Gefei.

Pictured is the Emerald (Midori) Waterfall and a caretaker keeping the garden "natural." One aspect I find interesting about Japanese landscape gardens, are how painstakingly they are kept clean and orderly to represent a "natural" world that is actually messy and disordered, especially by the standards set forth by Li Gefei. To see what i mean, just go for a hike anywhere human hands don't have a heavy influence. While containing its own "natural" beauty, the wilderness is not the meticulously manicured world of the Japanese landscape garden. Better yet, try to make your own landscape garden, even a very very small one, and see how long it looks orderly when left to its own devices. Not long I would wager.

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