Influences on Japanese Water Gardens
Japanese water gardens are some of the most beautiful and exquisite settings that a practitioner of the art of gardening can emulate. This article is just a very brief summary of what Japanese water gardens were influenced by in Japan’s history.
The history that created these gardening works of art is both intriguing and unique. Seen repeatedly in Buddhist printing, the earliest known recorded Japanese water gardens in Japan were built in the beautiful island motif.
It is interesting to note that Japanese water gardens represent Japan’s admiration and utter fascination for the ocean along with their religious connotations of water. Also, religion played a very early role in the connection between water and Japanese water gardens. Japan’s temple gardens in fact are heavily influenced by Buddhist imagery such as references to oceans, ponds, and lakes.
The gardeners of Japan wanted a certain look to their Japanese water gardens and when water sources were not available from organic conditions then the people created them. They were so dedicated to their Japanese water gardens that if a garden plan called for a pond and there was no pond present, the creators would dig one. The Japanese would also excavate the soil and turf if they needed to in order to create hills and islands for their Japanese water gardens.
The people of Japan also realized that their Japanese water gardens needed to have water that was contained and directed but in such gentle ways so that the flow appeared almost natural. They indeed respected nature but were ready and able to control it for their gardens of art.
When forming their ponds and lakes in their Japanese water gardens, geometric forms were avoided altogether. The people preferred to carve ponds in very significant shapes and designs. These significant shapes are called “Kanji”. An example of a unique shape that was built for a pond would be in the shape of a heart, which is “Shin-ji”.