Japanese Rock Gardens
"What's so special about the garden at Ryoanji?" I asked him, naming the
famous rock and sand garden in Kyoto's most brochured and pamphleted Zen
The rock garden at Ryoanji, the "Temple of the Peaceful Dragon", contains 15 rocks arranged in a 25 by 10 meter bed of white sand, flanked by clay walls and surrounded by an audience of colourful trees. Despite its simple appearance, this garden has prompted volumes of commentary on the aesthetic qualities that can be discovered upon closer inspection. It is a quintessential example of the minimalism found in Japanese art and culture; A few simple elements are combined together to create something much richer.
Here are some more scenes of gardens from around Kyoto. They are often intended to be viewed from certain vantage points, such that each one gives a particular portrait of the garden by providing its own form and composition. This idea is made more apparent when the view is framed, either by natural elements, or when viewed through the rectangular opening of screen doors in an adjacent building.
Zen Puzzle Garden
LinksWikipedia on Japanese Rock Gardens
Photographs of Japanese Rock Gardens
The 'Zen Garden' Term
Photographs of Japanese Gardens by William Corey
Architecture and Photographs of Ryoanji and other Temples
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This page was last updated: 2009-05-19