The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 10. Ornamental Water

Other types of island symbolism in Japanese gardens 2

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The "Bare Beach Isle" (Suhama-gata-jima) is so called because it is flat, like a sand-bank, and has its surface furrowed with undulating patterns in imitation of the wrinkled marking which the waves leave on a soft sandy beach at ebb-tide. It is spread with fine sea sand, and planted with young pine trees such as thrive on the sandy coast. The "Tide-ebb Isle" (Hikata-jima) is somewhat similar to the "Bare Beach Isle," but is half immersed below the water, with only a few rocks visible, and no trees or plants. The "Pine-bark Isle" (Matsu-kawa-jima),�so called from the resemblance which the rough coriaceous markings of its surface bear to the bark of the Japanese pine tree. The use of trees and stones on this kind of Island is said to be optional. The "Cloud-shaped Island" (Kumo-gata-jima) receives its name on account of the imaginary resemblance it bears in scenery to the form of a streaky cloud. This Island therefore occupies a distant position in the view; it should be covered with white sand, without either rocks or trees. The "Mist-shaped Isle" (Kasumi-gata-jima) resembles in the outline of its shores the serpentine curves or streaks used to represent mist in Japanese conventional designs. It is employed in the remoter parts of lake scenery, strewn with white sand, and bare of vegetation. Fig. 32. illustrating an ancient landscape garden from one of the old Kioto temples, shows two Islands of different kinds, connected by a monolithic bridge. One of these is a "Mountain Isle," adorned with a handsome leaning pine tree stretching over the water, and several maple trees; the other is composed almost entirely of rocks of different character, having one or two small shrubs planted between them.