Manuscript on paper entitled “Sansui tsukiyama hiden sho” [“Collection of Secret Information on Building Gardens with Hills”].

Two half-page & seven double-page paintings with brush, black ink, & gray wash. 19 folding leaves. 8vo (270 x 188 mm.), orig. patterned wrappers, title label in manuscript on upper cover, new stitching. Signed at end (in trans.): “copied in 1852 by [first name illegible] Ito].

Traditional Japanese gardens can be categorized into three types: tsukiyama (hill gardens), karesansui (dry gardens), and chaniwa gardens (tea gardens). Hill gardens were created by building artificial or man-made mounds and hills, with ponds and islands, affording the visitor many viewpoints.

Our highly legible manuscript begins with a philosophical and poetic discussion of the building of hill gardens. The author considered the activity to be sacred. He then discusses the design and construction of waterfalls (which must be constructed on the south side of the garden), using the right categories of stones.

The nine major stones and their roles are described and illustrated: shugo-seki (commanding stone, the sovereign master of the garden), fudo-seki (an immovable stone), hai-seki (worshipping stone); shozo- or taizo-seki (the stone that keeps all other things in the garden in balance), hikaye-ishi (a confronting stone), teido-seki (a stone looking out over the whole view of hills in the garden), karan-seki (a stone that has a round shape like a snail), getsuin-seki (a stone placed on the furthest hill), and yugyo-seki (stones under which fish take shelter).

The author discusses the correct course of the stream, the style of stone bridge, the types of flowers, plants, and trees suitable for a hill garden and their placements.

The first illustration is a high-page schematic layout of a hill garden with a grid pattern superimposed. There are hills, streams, wetlands, etc. The next half-page illustration depicts three types of hills. In the text, the author stresses the proper perspective from the various viewpoints.

There follow seven double-page paintings of idealized hill gardens, showing all the elements: hills, rocks and stones, streams, trees and plants, variations of hill gardens, islands including horaisan, waterfalls, etc.

Minor dampstaining but in fine condition.

Price: $2,950.00

Item ID: 6617

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