Akira Koshizawa is Professor at the Graduate School of Hokkaido University in Japan. From 2001 through 2011, he served as committee member at the Panel on Infrastructure Development of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. His major publication includes: Story of urban planning in Tokyo and Tokyo’s urban planning project etc. He was awarded the Award for the Promotion of Studies on Developing Economies by the Institute of Developing Economies ((IDE-JETRO).
Chinese and Japanese gardens are the ultimate places of wisdom, spaces of meditation, self-cultivation as well as openness to the world. Just as wisdom is described as a journey, the garden, as a path physical, sensory and spiritual all at once that combines contemplation and travelling, guides man towards a state of inner availability and non-attachment.
This illustrated book by Yolaine Escande explores the significance of Chinese and Japanese gardens as paths towards wisdom, a wisdom which is truly the heart of the garden. With the guidance of Chinese and Japanese philosophy, Escande discusses the historic and contemporary relationship people have with these gardens: the simultaneous self-containment and openness of this stationary path, the transience found in the predominant presence of rocks in these gardens (a far more important feature than in Western gardens), the worthlessness of the trees and how these embody the wise man and his moral values, and the powerful aesthetics of crudeness and simplicity, the expression of the natural in opposition to the artificial. Throughout, the beautiful original images, photographs and paintings alike, provide a visual understanding of the concepts considered within the text.
- Yolaine Escande, a director of research at the CNRS (CRAL, CNRS-EHESS) is a sinologist, a specialist of painting and art of gardens in China. She has published several books on Chinese art (L’Art en Chine – La résonance intérieure (Hermann, 2001), Traités chinois de peinture et de calligraphie (Klincksieck, 2010).