A Book Exploring the Beauty of Japanese Gardens
Daikaku-ji, Kyoto, 814, Heian Period. Picture credit: Travellinglight/Alamy Stock Photo (page 83)
British author Sophie Walker, who is also a keen horticulturalist and holds a degree in art history, pays homage to Japanese gardens and their history in a new book, The Japanese Garden. Far from the clean, ruler-straight paths found in French gardens and a million miles away from the more imposing quality to English gardens, Japanese gardens are designed to be spaces for freedom, where nature is studied and guided to then reproduce its wild beauty in miniature, and where symbolic ‘zen’ elements are added in different places.
Sophie Walker’s book offers no practical tips and she does not claim to be a master of gardening: she explores Japan through its most beautiful gardens without giving their address. The book starts from one hundred concrete examples and beautiful images to then reveal, through rich and precise explanations, another dimension of the Japanese garden which was born over 800 years ago: that of a space dedicated less to aestheticism and strolling around than to reflection, philosophy and spirituality.
Kennin-ji, Rinzai Zen Buddhism, Kyoto, 1202, Kamakura Period. Picture credit: Photograph © Sophie Walker (pages 170-171)
Cherry blossom above a wooden bridge at Kōraku-en, Okayama. Picture credit: Photograph © Sophie Walker (page 202)
Adachi Museum Garden, Yasugi, 1970, Shōwa Period, Zenkō Adachi. Picture credit: © Malcolm Raggett (page 133)
Time Garden, Izumi City Plaza, Osaka, 2002, Heisei Period, Tatsuo Miyajima. Picture credit: © SS Osaka. Courtesy Tatsuo Miyajima (page 221)
Kahitsukan Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyoto, 1981, Kajikawa Yoshitomo with Akenuki Atsushi. Picture credit: Photograph © Sophie Walker (page 235)
The Japanese Garden, Sophie Walker, Phaidon
Hakone Honbako, Japan's Book Hotel
Hotel Hakone Honbako, the 'book hotel', is equipped with wall to wall bookshelves full to the rafters. Relaxation and reading are at the top of the agenda.
218 Years After his Death, Painter Ito Jakuchu on Show in Paris for the First Time
You can see in Paris for the first time the hanging scrolls which Japanese painter Jakuchu Ito offered to the Shokoku-ji temple in Kyoto.
In Tokyo, a Former Rice Shop Transformed Into a Creative Space
A former rice shop, renamed Almost Perfect by its new owners, serves as a den for artists and creatives from overseas who are passing through Tokyo.
Putting Cats in Their Place in Ainoshima
In Sindre Deschington's photos taken on Ainoshima Island in January 2019, cats lead the dance.
The mysterious first images of a short film, shot in Tokyo with Eric Wareheim (Master of None)
Pen Films and director Jean-Baptiste Braud are happy to release a preview of the short film In the Still Night, featuring Eric Wareheim (Master of None).