In this seminar, topics regarding architectural thought and design in Japan, both new and old, will be presented and discussed in order better to understand the current Japanese architectural scene.
This semester ModJapArch is devoted to the history and design of the traditional Japanese garden in the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods. (see below)
Schedule: WHAT IS IT ABOUT STONES...?
Technique and Development in the Japanese Traditional Garden
Spring Term: Thursdays: 10:40 ~ 12:10
APRIL 23 April and May will be spent exploring the lexicon and syntax of the Japanese garden, as well
as certain practical techniques.
APRIL 30 (No class: Golden Week)
MAY 28 (No class: a Titech Tuesday)
JUNE 4 June will be Japanese garden history month.
JULY 2 In July, we shall attempt to pull these two themes and approaches together in greater detail.
The best books on the subject of the Japanese Garden by a
Japanese author in English are those by Teiji ITOH:
Notably: Space and Illusion in the Japanese Garden
(Weatherhill/ Tankosha, 1965). First English Edition: 1973, plus
subsequent Paperback English Editions, all apparently out of print, though available
The best recent technical manual by a Japanese author in
English is by Shunmyo MASUNO:
Inside Japanese Gardens: From Basics to Planning, Management
and Improvement (Mainichi Newspaper, 1990). This, too, is out of print
but due to be reprinted this year. We shall, therefore, be using prints
from both of these.
Other good books in English are:
Mitchell Bring and Josse Wayembergh, Japanese Gardens: Design and
Meaning, McGraw-Hill, 1981
Wybe Kuitert, Themes in the History of Japanese Garden Art, U. of Hawai' i Press, 2002
Kiyoshi Seike et. al., A Japanese Touch for your Garden, Kodansha, new
revised edition, 2009
There are, of course, many other.... Including some in German and Dutch languages.
Posgraduate ONLY seminar conducted in English with mainly Eng-language source materials provided by instructor.
Class is interactive and attendance is compulsory.
The Japanese garden, like so much that is Japanese, essentially reflects Chinese precedent.
That said, the survival of antique Japanese examples of living gardens is incredibly rich,
far more so than in China itself. This is, on the whole, true of Japanese Buddhist architecture as well,
and the art of gardening in Japan is heavily impacted by Buddhist principles and aesthetics. Religion,
ink painting on paper, and the arts of tea are all involved in the historical production of Japanese gardens,
as we know them.
There are essential two approaches to the study and practice of gardening. One is an historical division into three
periods or categories: ancient, medieval, and early modern Japan. The other is lexical and syntactical, concentrating on the features and devices of Japanese gardens and their mutual arrangement and replication.
Finally, there is more to be learnt about Japanese architectural aesthetics, as usually construed in the West, from the principles and examples of gardening, or perhaps from complexes of gardens and buildings, than from the mere study of built form unless one is referring to pure construction techniques. NB: so-called landscape architecture is a relative non-category in Japan, on account of gardening as virtually a craft guild activity in combination with the rather late organization of architecture as a profession.
This course meets each Thursday morning during the Spring
Term in the Architecture Department Conference Room on the third
floor of the Architecture Building Number 1 at 10:40 AM.