About the Garden

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

The history of the garden in Japan is not clear, but it is said to first appear in the Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan), and it seems that the concept of the garden was gradually transformed from that of Mount Sumeru, which was introduced from Baekje in the early 7th century, together with Buddhism.
In China, the garden is said to represent Mount Sumeru, the centre of the Buddhist world, and also Mount Horai, the abode of the Immortals.

According to Wikipedia, the following description is found in the Nihon Shoki.

It is recorded that around 620, Soga Umako built a square pond on the site of his residence, and for this reason it was called “Minister Shima”, and this garden was unusual and had a good reputation. A small pond was dug in the garden, which had been used for practical purposes as a flat square, and a small island was built to create a garden as an object of admiration.

フリー百科事典『ウィキペディア(Wikipedia)』 日本庭園
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Japanese garden

Depending on the source, the Minister of Shima or Minister of Shima may have been Soga Umako, Soga Iruka, or even Prince Kusakabe, but the descriptions of the sculptures suggest that in the beginning, building a garden meant building an island.

On the other hand, there are those who believe that the origin of the Japanese garden can be traced back to the belief in megalithic stones, such as the Banza and Bankyoku, and that the artificial arrangement of these stones is the original form of the garden.
While the belief in megaliths is also considered to be the original form of Shintoism, gardens have been deeply intertwined with a wide range of thought and architecture to this day.

In contrast to the development of the megalithic religion as a shrine, the domain of the gods, the garden, which also originated from the megalithic religion, seems to have developed as a human domain.

A garden in which the realm is under human control, in which nature is twisted and manipulated artificially, and yet pretends to be natural.
In other words, it is a garden which, while containing human thoughts, cooperates with nature and behaves more like nature than nature.
This is the realm of man, and beyond this realm, the realm of the gods, to shrines, to faith.

Is it a coincidence that even today we unconsciously call our own territory “niwa”?
Is it a coincidence that we call it “shima”?

It could be said that human activity has always been about expanding one’s own territory since childhood.
When I was a child, the grounds of my house were my garden, and I knew everything there was to know about bugs, flowers, and gardens.
When I became an elementary school student, my neighborhood became my garden, and I encountered many unknowns and expanded my surrounding area.
As I became a junior high school student, the neighboring train station became my garden, and the surrounding area, which I couldn’t see, expanded as well.
As I became a high school student, my garden extended beyond the city limits to the urban area, and my garden became relatively smaller and the surrounding area that I had never set foot in became larger.
As a college student, the garden crossed the border of the prefecture and came to represent the country, and I learned that the surrounding area around the garden was not a plane but a sphere.
As I became independent and crossed national borders, the garden came to represent the earth and the universe, and the surrounding area took in time and culture and swallowed up everything.
If this all-consuming region is the world, the garden is like a dot spreading out like an amoeba.

I will record the garden.
I record the activities of people and their expansion.
One by one, I confirm my own domain.


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