The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 6. Garden Enclosures

Bamboo fences Kenninji fencing

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BAMBOO FENCES. Close Fences of bamboo are very commonly employed in Japanese gardens. These are called Kenninji, after a noted temple of that name, and are constructed of closely packed strips of freshly cut bamboo, placed vertically and double, so as to show their green outer surface on both sides. The degree of roughness or delicacy of workmanship in these structures is carefully observed, and they are known as belonging respectively to the rough, finished, or intermediary styles. For making the common Kenninji, tubes of bamboo are split into four pieces, and the strips are, therefore, very convex in shape; but for the more elaborate class of constructions narrower and flatter laths are employed. These vertical strips are connected by means of two or three horizontal bars, formed of half sections of a stouter kind of bamboo, to which they are bound by dyed cords, care being taken in arranging the filling-in, that the knots of the bamboo-work alternate. The top is sometimes finished with a large bamboo pipe or a round pole as a capping, ornamentally tied with coloured cords at intervals. One way of arranging the vertical strips, which form the body of Bamboo Fences, is to thread them alternately in and out of horizontal strips so as to produce a kind of coarse plaiting; and other examples are constructed with thin strips diagonally interwoven, forming a kind of rattan work, and strengthened with horizontal rails and borders of thick bamboo, tied to the body of the fence. There is a special kind of Bamboo Fence, called the "Daitokuji Fence," after a famous temple of that name; it differs from the ordinary Kenninji in having its vertical lathing bound with wire.