The Japanese Gardens

Elements / Borrowed Scenery: shakkei

When the builder of a Japanese garden takes into consideration nearby or distant landmarks that could be seen from the garden—mountains, cascades, or works of architecture—he is essentially using “borrowed scenery” (the Japanese term is shakkei).  Although the practice was originally associated with certain Buddhist beliefs related to geomancy, it later became a purely aesthetic concept related to the spatial arrangements of Chinese and Japanese landscape painting.  Because Kyoto is bordered on the west, north, and east by low but very visible mountains, borrowed scenery was easily incorporated into garden designs.

(Click thumbnail for larger image)  
Return to ELEMENTS

Return to GARDENS
Shugaku-in
Murin-an
Nanzen-ji
Tenryu-ji
Ryoan-ji
Jakko-in
Daikaku-ji Joruri-ji
Ryoan-ji
Jakko-in
Daikaku-ji
Joruri-ji