Manuscript on paper, label on upper cover entitled “Niwa zukuri taii…” [“Garden [Landscape] Design”].

Numerous, rather good, brush & ink drawings. Written in a highly legible hand. 26 leaves. 8vo (238 x 170 mm.), orig. wrappers (slightly soiled, a few stains here & there), stitched as issued. [Japan: late Edo or early Meiji?].

At the beginning of the manuscript, the anonymous author states that a garden designer must respect the landscape and climate. He then discusses the five types of functional and decorative stones: reishouseki, taidouseki, shintaiseki, shigyoseki, and kikyakuseki. Each is illustrated and described. There are further attractive illustrations of large rocks and stones — always in pairs (yin and yang) — with comments on how feng shui is important in the original design of the garden.

The next subject is waterfalls and the correct selection of rocks for the waterfall. The author discusses a number of legendary waterfalls in China as models, gives instructions on how to have a constant flow of water throughout the year, and considers problems of drainage, how to place bridges, etc.

The following section describes the correct selection of trees and plants, their placement in the garden, and their care. Next described are several kinds of stepping stones, numerous water basins (chozubachi), stone lanterns, and pagodas.

There is a further and “deeper” discussion of the correct placement of stones in the garden. The author then discusses the various kinds of fences (13 kinds are illustrated), bridges, placement of tsukubai (low wash basins) surrounded by bamboo and other plants, the “ten characters” of stones and their roles within the design of the garden, further varieties of stones with names, etc.

On the penultimate leaf is a discussion of the Kanaoka School of garden design. Kanaoka (802?-97?), was director of the imperial garden in Kyoto. At the end, there is a note stating the text has been corrected, but we are unable to read the name.

Some minor worming but in nice condition.

Price: $3,500.00

Item ID: 6611

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