The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter1. History

Karesansui dried up gardens

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The construction of Kare-sansui, or Dried-up Water Scenery, was first adopted at this time. Designs of this kind consisted in representing lakes and rivers by means of hollowed-out beds and courses strewn with sand, pebbles, and boulders; the position and direction of the supposed inlet and outlet being always carefully indicated. Such imaginary water was spread out widely, and deep channels were avoided, in order to approach reality as much as possible by suggesting those broad shallow water-courses which are often parched up by drought. The Kare-sansui garden generally represented a wild natural scene amid mountains.