The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 12. Garden Composition

Tea Room Gardens Cha Niwa

Previous - Next

TEA GARDENS. The Cha-niwa, or gardens attached to Tea Rooms, next require notice. To understand the meaning of the designs and arrangements followed in such enclosures, some knowledge of the formulï¾µ of the Tea Ceremonial is necessary. The practice of this cult is said to have developed largely under the patronage of the generalissimo, Yoshimasa, who constructed at his villa on Higashiyama a small Tea Room in which he commenced the study of the ceremonial, under the tutelage of a Nara priest, called Shuko. Many names stand out prominently from amongst the host of Tea Professors following Shuko (see pages 18-19). Each noted master in turn introduced changes and modifications in the sizes and disposition of Tea Rooms, and the distribution of subsidiary buildings, gardens, and approaches. A volume might fail to explain adequately all the intricacies of the diminutive structures required for the esoteric practices of the Cha-no-yu. Supreme importance is bestowed upon the most trivial details, extending to such minutiï¾µ as the fractional depth and thickness of a window bar, or the exact number and spacing of the nail-heads in a doorway. An indication only of the principal uses and requirements, must suffice to explain the customary arrangements of the gardens adjoining the rooms. (Figure 46 shows a little Tea Garden from Sakai)