More than cause an aesthetic effect of the japanese gardens are planned to convey the values and feelings of peace and balance with the environment, are concepts derived from the Shintoísmo, the main religion of Japan that believes that men and women are part of nature and should live in harmony with it.
In japanese architecture traditional house, this is contained in the garden, and should be positioned on the reception of the visitors, in front of the house, so that the visitors can admire the scenery and take a spiritual path.
The japanese garden has a claim to capture the essence of nature through the symbolism and arrangement of its elements, the winding paths of stones away evil spirits, and cause an illusion of spatial extent, leading the observer from different points of view of the landscape.
Types of Japanese Garden
Known as japanese garden, oriental gardens had their origin in China, at the sixth century, spread by monks buddhist, but the japanese have perfected the art of making gardens, introducing several symbolic elements.
Although the first gardens have been made to the delight aristocrat, in the period of Heian (794 – 1185 a.d.) the japanese gardens were widely disseminated, always bringing the element of life, water in the form of a lake, with species that change the scenario as the passing of the seasons of the year.
Even during the Heian period were recorded, the first gardens zens, the zen garden or Karensansui are those gardens of sand and stone, where practically the vegetation is non-existent.
The zen garden is not a place for a ride, only to contemplation and meditation, the sand is swept symbolizing the flow of the waves, and has large stones representing mountains and eternity. The intention of the zen garden is to capture only the essence of nature, not its real shape. Its minimalist aesthetics induces the spectator to a state of calm and reflection.
At the end of the Heian period there emerged a new architectural style, derived from the teachings of the Buddha Amitabha, ruler of the region of happiness, or paradise – as well as what heaven is to christians – called “garden of paradise”, this should have essentially an island in the middle of a lake, which represents the paradise, the abode of the Buddha, also known as the Horaisan or Horaijima.
This island should not have connection with the land, therefore, has no bridges. Therefore, even though the paradise is near it is difficult for mortals able to enter holy ground.
In the japanese garden of paradise in addition to the island’s “master”, alone, may have other islands, the main ones are the Tsuru (the Bird Crane) and Kame (Turtle), which are representations of the sacred animals of wisdom and longevity, these two can be accessed with bridges.
In the sequel, arose the Gardens of the Tea Ceremony, or Roji, around 1568 and 1600 d. C, in the Azuchi-Momoyama period, where the masters of the tea, as well as the use of lanterns of stone or Toro, the original of the gardens of the buddhist.
These are the main types of gardens in japanese culture traditional, some gardens preserved until today in Japan, and disseminated throughout the world.
In the following we will present the meanings of the elements present in the gardens and the plant species that make up the landscapes of a japanese garden.
Elements of the Japanese Garden
Rich in symbolism the elements of japanese garden are essential to compose the scenario of the spiritual and sensitive landscape. The main elements are:
Lanterns Stone: Symbols of concentration serve to enlighten the minds and lighten the paths, the fixtures, or Toro are the originals of the buddhist temples in China, have the format of the house, segmented into 5 parts, representing the 5 elements of the buddhist cosmology, the base must touch the floor symbolizing the earth, the middle symbolizes the water, light the fire, and the ceiling with a ball, represent respectively the air and the spirit.
Lakes and Carp: The water represents life, peace and purity, while the carp fertility and prosperity.
Bridge, or Taiko-Bashi bridge: The bridges represent the evolution and self-knowledge, when made of bamboo symbolize the ability to adapt.
Rocks of the Cascades: The stones of the waterfalls vertical represent the father, and the stones horizontal the mother of where flows from the water, since the stones scattered may represent the descendants, or in the case of the zen garden, the mountains and the eternity.
Bamboos: In some gardens, the bamboo is tied up so that it is curved in the direction of the lake, with a sign of reverence to those who appreciate the garden, these bamboos are placed the bells of the wind and the monkeys of ceramics, which represent the sounds of nature and happiness.
Trees and shrubs Perennials: shrubs and trees to perennials represent the silence and the eternity.
Fragrant flowers: Although the flowers are not evident in the japanese gardens, species such as Magnolia and Pitospóros can be used to welcome visitors and ward off evil spirits. At the entrance are also planted the pine tree representing the father, azaleas symbolizing the mother and the stools of bamboo for the children.
Sakura or Cherry-japanese-pink: Traditional this is the tree of happiness, the japanese even has a special party for the time of their flowering in early March and April, the Hanami, the blossom of the cherry represents the start of the cycle of life.
Has or Acer: Acer is a tree that represents the passage of time, in the fall its red leaves fall covering the ground, beauty, melancholy represents a cycle that closes in opposition to the cherry, but with the same importance.
Species of Plants of the Japanese Garden
In addition to the Sakura and Momiji various species of plants are used to compose the scenery of the oriental gardens, we have listed some of the most common species of trees, shrubs, dunnage, and other.
Trees of the Japanese Garden
- Burgundy-japanese (Acer palmatum);
- Pine tree Black Japanese(Pinus thumbergii);
- Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japônica);
- Cherry-japanese-pink (Prunus campanulata);
- Cherry-white (Prunus serrulata);
- Elm Japanese (Ulmus branch davidian).
The bushes of the Japanese Garden
- Pitosporo (Pittosporum tobira);
- Pine tree-the buddha (Podocarpus);
- Tuias (Chamaecypares);
- Juníperos (Juniperus horizontalis);
- Azaleia Large (Rhododendron simsii);
- Privet (Ligustrum sinense);
- Nandina (Nandina domestica);
- Buxinho (Buxus sempervirens);
- Bamboo of the luck (Dracaena sanderiana);
- Bamboo-black (Phyllostachys nigra );
- Bambuzinho-garden (Bambusa textilis gracilis).
Grams of Japanese Garden
- Grass JapaneseZoysia japônica);
- Grass Korean (Zoysia tenuifolia).
Plants next to lakes, conducive to moisture
- Maidenhair (Dianthum);
- Peperomias (Peperomia ssp);
- Balsaminas (Impatiens).
These are only a few species of plants that can be used to make a japanese garden.
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