Brooklyn Life and Activities of Long Island Society from Brooklyn, New York on July 26, 1930 · Page 5
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Brooklyn Life and Activities of Long Island Society from Brooklyn, New York · Page 5

Brooklyn, New York
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 26, 1930
Page 5
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BROOKLYN LIFE The Japanese Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden VT7HAT THE DISTANT PEAK, the Companion Hill, the Drum Bridge, the Water Pavilion, the Torii, the Shinto Shrine, the Sleeve Fence, the Constructed Mountains and other major features of the unique Japanese garden, which lies in the midst of this great occidental city, mean to the Japanese is explained in a guide, the fourth of a series of guides to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, published this month as an issue of the Botanic Garden Record. This new guide, according to Dr. C. Stuart Gager, the director, is almost,, if not quite unique, as an authoritative American Publication on Japanese gardens under Japanese authorship. The purpose of the series of guides now being published by the Botanic Garden is to interpret the various aspects of the Botanic Garden to the general public. Bunkio Matsuki, the author of the guide, now in Japan, who was an instructor in Japanese at Columbia University, was particularly enthusiastic over the Japanese Garden in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden because of its authenticity. In writing the guide, he has explained the traditional meaning and uses of the various features and the plantings in general. "The Japanese Garden of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden," Mr. Matsuki comments, "is a charming spot in this great metropolis where visitors may temporarily forget their western thought and enjoy a glimpse of the 'land of the rising sun . There are four general classifications of Japanese gardens : Palace Garden, Shinto and Buddhist Temple Gardens, and Cha-no-yu or Tea Cult Garden. According to Mr. Matsuki, one of the interesting aspects of the Japanese Garden in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is that it embraces some features of all of these four garden types. The garden in Brooklyn, which was designed by Takeo Shiota and opened in 1915 to the public, is a landscape garden, Mr. Matsuki states, and in order to keep its aspect constant all the year round the transitory flowering plants are greatly restricted ; preference is given to evergreen trees, such as the pine, and shrubs, in association with rocks and water. ' Everything has a signifigyje in the Japanese garden, the earliest record of which Sis found in the 20th year "(602 A. D.) of the reign of the Empress Suiko, from the surrounding fence tqv the wooden and stone lanterns, "the cascades, the rock formations, the" island in the lake and the Waiting Pavilion. Just inside the entrance of the Japanese Garden stands a wooden 1 ) .I'M!1 J0I0 v"" "V" -rrr"-" rr , nf' ; , -mmm-immmr-mrvr- 1 1 Wooden Bridqc, with Sleeve Fence; Shrine beyond-the bridge; Waterfalls in the distance at right, the Pine, Azalea, and Boulder at the right of the bridge, forming the trinity, heaven, man and earth. Note WW V. it ft "it a The Island (Y ami-J into), showing Drum Bridge, Stepping Stones, Storks, Cave, Stone Lantern (Yukimi), Pebble Beach, and, beyond the Drum Bridge, the original Waiting Pavilion, now replaced by the one described in the text. In the lower, left hattd corner are the Idling Stones ( Tobi-ishi) post lantern known by the name of "Who Goes There?" A light from this post lantern, Mr. Matsuki states, serves to show the way from the gate to the entrance of the tea house. This tea house in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is really a water pavilion or Sui-ro, and is constructed on the Ismail lake. Mr. Matsuki adds that this particular water pavilion is built with great skill and refined taste. "In conformity with the tea ceremony," he says, "this superb simplicity in architecture is intended to arouse sensations in harmony with the spirit of tea, and ' conducive to a meditative frame of mind." "From this tea villa," Mr. Mat-' suki continues, " a panoramic view of the entire garden covering over an acre, may be had across the water. Immediately in front , is a series of high hills or Constructed Mountains. The highest ooint in the far background is known as Beginning near its top and extending F) ,i...i ..C7&. ft n The Torii the Distant Peak, down the slope, there is a deep gorge or ravine, through which the water glides, falling over four cascades which are overhung by pine trees, wisteria and maples, and emptying into the lake at the foot of the gorge. There the stream just before it enters the lake, is spanned by a wooden bridge with a balustrade. Slightly in front of the Distant Peak, and .more toward the left, is the Companion Hill. In the foreground across the lake to the right of the ravine, there is another elevation, the Near Hill. It can be readily located by the fine "pine tree growing on its peak. "The wooden structure standing in the water is the Torii-mon, an entrance gate to the Shinto Shrine which is built on the hill above. A Torii always indicates an approach to a temple or shrine. To the left of the Torii is the Shinto Pnie Grove or Sho-rin. To the right of the ravine with the cascading water, near the center of the hill, there is a large stone lantern fashioned of granite. At the foot of the hill to the right of the stream of water entering the lake there is an island, connected with the main shore path by a wooden drum bridge. On the front of this island, nearest the observer, stands a large-roofed stone lantern, casting its inverted reflection upon the water. Beyond the island and a little further toward the right is the Waiting Pavilion. "From the vantage point of the Tea Pavilion one can observe the application of the three forces of nature Heaven, (Continued on page 12)

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