JANUARY 31, 2013
Real Japanese Gardens
Jenny Schröder had a comfortable life working for a global IT firm in London, but cast it all to the wind after a brief trip to Japan. In today's issue of Presentation of the Day (from PKN Tokyo Vol. 97) Jenny tells us how she journeyed to Saitama (the prefecture along Tokyo's northern border) to study the art of garden design, and fell into a well of knowledge deeper than she had expected.
Schröder came to understand the design elements -- the balance of moss, rock, sand; the way Japanese architecture served as a frame for the garden space. She discovered the cultural/historical elements as well: the practice of Sadō (ritual tea-making and imbibing) is often performed with a garden as foreground or background, and Kamakura/Muromachi Era garden designer and Rinzai Zen Monk Musō Soseki's environments can be experienced throughout Japan to this day.
She's compiled much of her knowledge on her website (JapaneseGardens.jp) and continues to update regularly. If you've ever longed to breathe in the smell of greenery and tea whilst gazing upon the juxtaposition of nature, Schröder's database is a great place to begin.