Discover the Chinese soul of the garden in Keitaku-in

Discover the Chinese soul of the garden in Keitaku-in

Taking this ‘chisen-kaiyu-shiki' (walk around a lake) shows visitors how Chinese culture is at the origin of the modern Japanese garden, this one designed by the legendary gardener Ueji.

Relatively unknown to Westerners, Keitaku-in is an emerald in the heart of Tennōji Park, in the south of Osaka. This garden, which took ten years to emerge from the ground in the late 19th century, was designed by master gardener Ogawa Jihei VII, called ‘Ueji', and is the precursor of the modern Japanese garden. A place of entertainment for the new ruling class, the garden was used for receiving guests and organising tea ceremonies to maintain social relationships. These scholars did not use the traditional tea powder (macha), preferring sencha, which comes from China.

The gardens and tea pavilions were therefore transformed to find the shapes and patterns that best lent themselves to this new way of preparing the aromatic beverage. Thus, in trying to appropriate the aesthetics and the vision of nature that were typically Chinese, the Japanese created ‘Japanese' architecture and gardens. This is the thesis defended by Yagasaki Zentaro, a lecturer in architectural history and Japanese gardens at the Kyoto Institute of Technology.

Keitaku-en Garden
Tennōji Park
1-108 Chausuyamacho
Tennōji-ku, Osaka
Osaka Prefecture 543-0063

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