Garden Design Solutions That Address Spatial Constraints

Japanese gardens do not exist as independent entities. Until the Edo period, they were generally designed to be viewed from a seated position in the building interior, and so were directly correlated to the function and style of the architecture. There are no other known examples of this kind of correlation; it is apparently unique to the Japanese garden. Sakuteiki offers numerous suggestions for design solutions intended to accommodate particular site conditions and building functions.

The style of the shinden-zukuri garden was determined by the function and decorative style of the shinden main hall itself, and was subject to the various constraints inherent in the standard one-did site...


The Design Process: Stylized Forms (Yo) and Modeling After (МапаЫ)

The term “yd” appears repeatedly throughout the text of Sakuteiki, referring to stylized forms in which each of the six compositional elements can be rendered to express “the natural landscape.” “Yd” has a broad range of nuances and is used in Sakuteiki to indicate form or shape (sometimes also indicated by the term “kata”), definitive style, and/or appearance, air, or state. Examples of the key uses of “yd” and “kata” are shown in boldface in the excerpts below:

The dry landscape [form] .. .31

… some charming mood such as of a mountain vil­lage.. ,32

Various Styles for Landscape Gardens. The Ocean Style, the River Style, the Mountain Stream Style, the Pond Style, the “Reed-hand” Style, and so on.33

That there are various styles of landscape designs by the plac...


The Six Basic Elements of Garden Composition

The prototype of garden design is described in the open­ing paragraphs of Sakuteiki, while the remainder of the text presents the Japanese garden’s six basic composition­al elements—the artificial hills, the pond, the island, the white sand south garden, the garden stream, and the waterfall—and also notes that plants and springs may be used as garden accents where appropriate (Figures 10.1— 10.6). Through the historical periods—even when later abstracted or condensed—the skeletal structure of the Japanese garden is composed using these six elements to portray the natural landscape in accordance with the pro­totype. Having defined and documented these alone makes Sakuteiki a classic.

Sakuteiki outlines the six basic compositional elements of the garden as:

Artificial Hills

… ...


Prototypes and Interpretations in Shinden – Zukuri Gardens

Shinden-zukuri gardens, which were integrally linked to the structure and composition of the corresponding archi­tecture, developed with as much variety as did palatial buildings in the same style. Like palace architecture, gar­dens too had requisite prototypes. The opening line of Sakuteiki in fact refers to the inextricable correlation between prototype and interpretation:

In making the garden, you should first understand the overall principles.15

Sakuteiki then outlines three overall principles which together form the prototype for all garden making, and which epitomize all the garden styles described later in the document.



Architectural Design Solutions That Address Spatial Constraints

Given the limited space available on the east-west axis of a one-chd site, it was probably not possible to execute the formal arrangement on the north-south axis either. Two different approaches were employed as means of adapting buildings to sites that were limited in size:

Scale Reduction

This method involves reducing the size of all the various structural components to make them fit.

The scale-reduction method was used primarily for villa-temple architecture built by Heian aristocrats during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Pure Land Buddhism, or Jodo, which offered believers hope of transport after death to the “Pure Land,” or Western Paradise, of the Amida

Подпись: 8 Schematic of asymmetrical shinden-zukuri architecture and corresponding garden views.
Architectural Design Solutions That Address Spatial Constraints

Buddha, appealed to the Heian aristocracy, who attempt­ed to create architectural renditions of Western Paradis...


The Abandonment of Symmetry

Higashisanjo Palace, for generations home to the power­ful aristocratic Fujiwara family, was a representative piece of Heian-period residential architecture. Yet even this classic palace lacked many of the requisite components that defined shinden-zukuri. The palace had no west tai­noya proper. The east chUmon served as the main entrance and the east fishing pavilion was omitted. The west fishing pavilion was positioned at the edge of the pond and was linked to the shinden by a west sukird corridor. Higashisanjo Palace was built on a two-cho site in an asymmetrical lay­out (Figure 6).

The shinden was located slightly west of the center of the site...


Shinden-Zukuri Architecture: Symmetrical Prototype, Simplified Interpretations

“As a rule, a one-cho site contains east and west tai and east and west chUmon.” According to this excerpt from ChUyUki, the diary of Heian-period courtier Fujiwara no Munetada (1062-1141), the shinden-zukuri style for a one-cho site has a central shinden hall, with east and west tainoya opposing annexes and chUmon corridors with inner gates. In other words, a one-cho, bilaterally-symmet – rical palace was the rule. It was the accepted concept, the “formula” for the prototype of shinden-zukuri.

Although the Kaoku zakko’s accuracy is sometimes ques­tioned, it does offer a description of the salient features of shinden-zukuri as the architectural style was understood in the mid-nineteenth century:

Starting with Heian-куб, all aristocratic residential architecture followed continen...


. City Plan Prototype and Interpretation: Changan and Heian-kyo

The two Japanese cities that were built in a space and cli­mate vastly different from China’s, at approximately “one – quarter the scale of Changan, should probably be called scale-reduction models. The main avenues of Heijo-kyo measured 85 meters [279 feet] in width, in comparison to Changan’s, which were 150 meters [492 feet] … Japan’s many early capitals, from Naniwa-куб [present-day Osaka] to Heian-куб, were modeled after Changan, and although Heian-куб was modeled on Heijo-kyo, it emerged as a superior piece of city planning.”3

Changan was about four times the area of Heian-kyo. Changan’s largest blocks measured 650 hu (roughly 975 meters, or 3,200 feet) on the east-west axis, and 550 bu
(approximately 825 meters, or 2,700 feet) on the north – south axis...


Early Prototypes and Interpretive Approaches


ount Miwa in Yamato (present-day Nara Prefec­ture) is a sacred mountain, thought to be manifest­ed spirit according to the indigenous animistic religious beliefs of Shinto. Pre-Nara-period Shinto (pre-645) focused on nature worship in sacred sites—roped-off clearings surrounding unusually-shaped mountains, trees, rocks, waterfalls and other natural phenomena. The present Omiwa Shrine at the base of Mount Miwa consists of only a torii gate marking the entrance to the sacred grounds and a haiden, or worship hall, reminiscent of the early Shinto sites which lacked an architectural structure to enshrine каті, or spirit (Figure 1).

Mount Miwa is covered with primeval forest, revered and untouched from protohistoric times...




have been studying traditional Japanese dwellings (minka) since 1962, particularly in the Kansai, Chubu, and Tohoku regions, and have continued to follow the transformations in these homes with great interest over the years. My motivation was very simple—I was interest­ed in the question of why these buildings had survived in Japan...