Zen Gardens: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno, Japan’s Leading Garden Designer

Mira Locher, Author, Uchida Shigeru, Foreword by
Mira Locher. Tuttle, $39.95 (224p) ISBN 978-4-8053-1194-3
Reviewed on: 09/03/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
Open Ebook - 229 pages - 978-1-4629-1049-6
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Shunmyo Masuno is a Buddhist priest and Japan’s premier landscape designer. Locher’s stunning presentation highlights 37 master gardens in Japan and abroad (including in the U.S.) that embody a transcendent marriage between the primal elements of nature and metaphysics. After tracing the history and evolution of Zen gardens through the centuries, the author examines and presents the contemporary work of Masuno. His gardens focus on the atmosphere of a garden. “In Japanese culture,” writes Masuno, “rather than emphasizing the form of something itself, more importance is placed on the feeling of the invisible things that come with it: restrained elegance, delicate beauty, elegant simplicity and rusticity.” Designing and tending a “paradise garden” arose from the Pure Land school of Buddhist thought and remains a primary responsibility of the Buddhist priest. In these gardens, ornaments are eschewed in deference to the simplicity of using only a few basic elements: rocks, pea stone, carefully tended plant life. With 320 color photos and designs, Locher captures the mystery and mastery of Masuno’s work. (Oct.)
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