Garden Design

Tsukiyama sansui ishigumi sonou yaegakiden [Instructions for Garden Design].

Pictorial frontis. & many full-page woodcuts. 32; 32 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. patterned wrappers, orig. woodblock title labels on upper covers (labels a little rubbed & defective), new stitching. Osaka: Kawachiya Tasuke et al., Preface dated 1827.

First edition of this richly illustrated work on the theory of Japanese garden design. Akisato (fl. 1780-1814), travelled with his artists throughout the country in order to accurately record the landmarks, writing the first detailed accounts of early Japan; his books were immediate best sellers. In his earlier works, he had described many of the most important gardens of Japan; in this work he describes the complex theories behind their design.

The book is divided into three main parts. The first describes the fences and walls that surround and divide the gardens. The fine illustrations depict the many kinds of fences, the rich variety of designs, and the materials used. Akisato always describes the aesthetic result of each kind of fence. There is a section on bridges including yatsuhashi (criss-crossing bridges made from planks) and stone bridges (including stepping stones). Another section is devoted to gates.

The second part is devoted to rocks, their varieties, and the theory behind their placement. Akisato describes the five types of functional and decorative stones and their arrangements (gogyoseki). There is a section on lanterns, fountains, and water basins. There are also several illustrations of entrances to tea ceremony rooms (mizuya).

The final part is concerned with the theories behind the overall design of gardens, including hill gardens, gardens on flat areas, etc. There are two wonderful illustrations of how to make a fountain with a detailed account of the mechanism raising the water.

Fine copy of a handsomely illustrated work.

Price: $3,750.00

Item ID: 6851

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