The Japanese gardens are probably the most known of
the Asiatic gardens. The Japanese artists have taken over the garden
art from the Chinese artists but they have imprinted the discipline
and order that are characterizing this nation.
The Japanese gardens can be organized around an temple,
an tea pavilion, an palace or can be constituted by dry elements –
karesansui, known as Zen gardens.
Some elements are typical to these gardens: the
water (real presence or symbolized by the stones help), the
rocks (sometimes suggesting a mountain presence), the stone
lanterns, the footbridges (arched or in zigzag), the
islands (presenting sometimes symbolic forms) and the pavilions
(simple or exuberant decorated).
The taste for the beauty of the stones presents in
Japan a particular refinement and represents an essential element of
the tea ceremony. The stone has a impressive robustness and
polished or processed it is emanating the brilliance and the elegance
of culture. The lanterns made also from stone are mysterious presences
in the garden that are protecting the fires lighted by faithful or are
illuminating the nocturnal tea ceremonies. With the stones help, the
sinuous alleys are traced to model the steps in a special rhythm that
permits the contemplation of the garden landscape.
From the vegetal elements some are always present:
the bamboo or the pine tree, the symbol of loneliness. The flowered
cherry tree, wisteria, the lotus are representing delight and celebration
motives for the Japanese people. Their attitude towards flowers has
brought them celebrity and has conducted to the apparition of a specific
The plant pompously celebrated in autumn is the
chrysanthemum. Although it is said that the chrysanthemum has appeared
for the first time in China, this flower is most frequently associated
to Japan. It is natural to be so if we are thinking that for 10 centuries
the imperial emblem of Japan has been a 16 petals yellow chrysanthemum.
In October, the chrysanthemum is venerated by Japanese nation by exhibitions
realization where fanciful floral arrangements can be admired.
The Zen garden is characterized by austerity
and the component elements represents symbols full of mysteries. In
this garden we have suggested the mountains with the help of the stones,
the sand has been raked to remind the waves movement, also we have found
a discreet place for some mosses spots, all of these inviting you to
a profound meditation state, and to find that the one who has given
soul to the garden is the spectator himself.
In this garden we have tried to reunite symbols appreciated
by Japanese nation with the help of a venerated plant in the Rising
Sun Country: the chrysanthemum. Thus, we have represented
the Fuji Mountain – loved but also dreaded by Japanese,
the Zen garden – representative to the special relation
between Japanese and nature, the turtle – symbol
of immortality, bonsai – elements of a eternal art.
All of these symbols have been disposed in this space that we hope to
remain fascinating and mysteriously to each one.
Japanese mythology provides a different version of
how the chrysanthemum came to be found in Japan. Legend says that, in
the beginning, there were so many gods in heaven, that some, including
the god Izanagi and the goddess Izanami, have descended
to the earth on a cloud-bridge. Once on earth, the goddess created the
gods of the winds, mountains, sea, and others, finally dying upon creating
the god of fire.
Izanagi missed Izanami and so followed
her to the place of Black Night where she had gone, only to
see vile sights and be pursued by the Old Hag of Black Night.
Narrowly escaping back to the earth, the god Izanagi
went straight to the river for a purification bath. As he shed his clothes
and they touched the ground, they turned into twelve gods. His jewels
became flowers: one bracelet an iris, another a lotus,
and his necklace a golden chrysanthemum.