Japanese Rock Garden

Interested in rock gardens from Japan? Discover the innate symbolism and artistic value of Japanese rock gardens…

Japanese garden styling aesthetics have taken the world by storm in recent years. Amongst the many different styles found under the umbrella of Japanese gardens is the Japanese rock garden. This particular style is sometimes referred to as a Zen garden.

The nature of a Japanese rock garden is such that is an enclosed and shallow sandpit that is full of sand, rocks, gravel with the addition of grass and other items being optional. In local lingo a Japanese rock garden is known as karesansui. The main elements that form this style are rocks and sand.

Zen Meditation Sand Gardens

Ironically the sand is meant to represent water. This is done by raking the sand and creating patterns that give a metaphoric visual of rippling water. Although a rock garden is termed as a garden and the average person is bound to think that the garden would have some greenery. On the contrary Japanese rock gardens make use of minimal plants and in fact in some cases they are not even there.

This unique art form is created in such a manner that it has a special viewpoint in order for it to be fully appreciated. The west has developed a deep emotional attachment to Japanese rock gardens with some even thinking that they can bring you peace of mind!

The practice of creating Japanese rock gardens has been part of the Japanese culture for many centuries. In fact there are some very old and well maintained Japanese rock gardens on display in Japan for tourists.

Amongst them is the famous rock garden at Ryoan-ji near Kyoto n Japan. This tree less garden has 14 irregularly shaped rocks of different sizes that are surrounded by moss. The whole setting is arranged in a bed of white sand and gravel which has to be raked everyday in order for it to maintain its feel.

Typical of rock gardens the rocks of varying sizes are carefully arranged in odd numbers. There is no one single designer that takes the credit for creating this monumental garden that attracts world attention. In fact the inscriptions on some the pebbles show that a number of artists had worked together to create the master piece.

Japanese Garden Gravel

To break it down a typical Japanese rock garden has a number of different elements that are meant to symbolize different things. The raked gravel represents the ocean where as the rocks are taken as the various islands of Japan. In another version you may get to hear that the rocks are meant to symbolize a mother tiger along with her cubs making their way through the water towards a dragon. The most serene symbolism taken from Japanese rock gardens is that the rocks are part of the kanji for the mind and heart.

Irrespective of the innate meanings behind the concept of Japanese rock gardens the fact of the matter is that they are gaining popularity all around the world. Individuals trying to give their homes an artistic edge with something out of the norm are increasingly making use of this unique style of gardening.

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