This charming volume presents a rare opportunity to view the
gardens of Meiji Japan from the inside, as seen through the eyes of
an official of the Imperial Household in 1928. In Japan, the garden
is considered a barometer of the nation's prosperity and character,
and different periods in history have produced different kinds of
gardens. Harada gives brief summaries of them all, including the
Edo period (1603-1867), when professional gardeners first took over
the design of gardens from priests, and reveals a few of the subtle
distinctions that the Japanese use to distinguish between different
kinds of gardens that appear identical to Western eyes. As a
reaction to all things foreign, the gardens of the Meiji
Restoration period (1868-1912), revived the earlier simpler
"cha-no-yu" style of garden heavily influenced by Zen. Rare period
photographs of famous parks and the now vanished gardens of
Japanese aristocrats show gardens in a more naturalistic style than
is common in Japan today.
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