The Garden Guide

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

Toyama-en Garden Tokyo 2

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The numerous garden shrines all bear the names of protecting deities, of historical temples, or of country fanes. Descriptive terms applied to hills, valleys, and other spots, allude either to their purpose in the landscape, to their peculiarity of shape or colour, or to some mysterious charm which they are supposed to possess. As examples of each method of nomenclature may be mentioned:�Shusui-Dai, or Fine View Plateau; Kenzan, or Sword-point Peak; Himmeizan, or Embroidered Mountain; and Meiho-kei, or Ph�nix-dwelling Valley. Some of the references are classical, requiring for their elucidation and appreciation some familiarity with ancient Japanese or Chinese history and legend. Such, for instance, are:�Shusen-koku, or Valley of Magicians; Takuei-sen, or Spring for Washing the Cap Strings,�a Chinese idea suggestive of extreme purity; and Kohaku-bashi, or Jewel Bridge,�the term jewel implying great ethereal beauty. The plan of this garden may be taken as a characteristic example of the arrangements followed in most of the larger landscape gardens of Japan. The sixty-two descriptive names refer only to special spots of interest in the scenery, and to garden buildings. In addition, the important rocks, stones, tree-clumps, lanterns, water basins, and garden fences have also their distinguishing terms, applied in accordance with the rules of gardening which will be afterwards explained.