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150 internautes sur 151 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A treasure for anyone interested in Japanese Gardens 28 janvier 2000
Par DAMwriter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Confession: I didn't actually buy this book, I borrowed it from the library. Why am I telling you this? Because this will mark the first time, ever, that I've gone out and purchased a copy of a book for myself once I've read it for free. Normally, once I've read a book I put it up on the shelf or return it to the lender, never to crack it open again (with the exception of a few reference books). This time will be different.
Oh, I do have a few quibbles with the book. The author includes a number of interesting endnotes, most of which could have easily been incorporated into the text itself so a reader doesn't have to flip back-and-forth. And for some reason, some of the notes seem to be ill-placed; in some cases you'll come to a footnote, read it, only to have that bit of information captured in a subsequent paragraph of the main text. Another problem is the occasional editing mistake - words out of order, words left in that were clearly meant for deletion (maybe that's the printer's fault), and a misspelling here and there.
But, these are minor points. I have worked as a volunteer tour guide at a Japanese Garden in a local botanic garden, and I have never seen a single book that so eloquently and completely captured the subject of Japanese garden design: its history, its development in the context of Japanese cultural, social and religious history, its fundamental principles, even the language that is used to describe its various aspects. It is a well-rounded, clearly-written primer on the meaning and use of these gardens.
It is NOT a how-to book; readers looking for instructions at the level of, "Place rock here, spread a bit of moss on the east-southeast side," will find themselves disappointed. As the author states repeatedly, Japanese garden design is not about decoration, plant lists or specific positioning of elements. Those things make a garden "Japan-esque". What he does is teach you - in condensed fashion - what the garden masters taught for generations: learn the principles, understand the meanings attached to the structure and design of Japanese gardens, emulate the best of what you see, and then create your garden with your own personal stamp and the materials available to you.
Because of this philosophy, because of the beauty of the photographs, and because of the information this book contains, I will refer to it again and again as I create my own Japanese garden at home.
52 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Focus on Japanese aesthetics as well as gardening 28 janvier 1998
Par Chris Cochrane - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The book concisely uses gardens and aesthetic terms as vehicles to better understand both. Keane's insight into changes of aesthetic focus in different historical periods is clearly constructed. It enhances the reader's insight into further studies of Japanese aesthetics, gardening or history. Readers of Makoto Ueda, Sen'ichi Hisamatsu et al. on Japanese aesthetics will be particularly rewarded with a simple structure for considering complex terms that they expose in more detail. As a garden book, it rates a "9"... as an introduction to Japanese aesthetics, it is clearly a "10"... as a unique perspective on Japanese history, it stands alone. While others have said most of what Keene notes, none have integrated it so well. The beauty of the garden book, aside from its text, is exceptional. One could only wish that the pictures were in a larger format.
26 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Bravo Mr. Keane! 14 mars 2001
Par Robert Moorhouse - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is one of the best non-fiction selections I've ever encountered. It does justice to its esteemed topic, both in its superb photographic selections and its rich and highly informative text. Far more than a mere coffee table book, Mr. Keane's solid understanding and sensitive insight have created a work which I refer to often in my own gardening ventures. I cannot recommend this book more highly.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Probably the best English language source available! 25 mars 2004
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Marc Keane, the other author of this exellent book, is a professor at Kyoto University, and educates students in Japanese garden design. Other good background material on Japanese gardens includes: "Sakuteiki: Visions of the Japanese Garden" (a trans. of an 11th cent. Japanese scroll), also written by Marc Keane, with Jiro Takei; and "Secret Teachings in the Art of Japanese Gardening" ( another ancient scroll trans.), by David Slawson.
A very useful "how-to" book is: "Creating Japanese Gardens", by Phillip Cave. "A Japanese Touch for your Garden," by Seike, Kudo and Engel, also supplies the meat-and-potatoes.
You can pick up many helpful details in pictures found in the "coffee-table" books available. Haruzo Ohashi, who did the photography for "Japanese Garden Design," has done outstanding photographic work for several other books in this category.
If you are a "back-yard-gardener" like me, all of these books will just be the starting point. You will learn that there are several distinct styles of Japanese gardens. However, there are no hard rules. Elements of the basic styles can be incorporated into your garden.
The finished product: "your interpretation of the Japanese Garden" (what works for you), will be well worth the effort. It was for me. Just remember that in the Japanese garden "less is often more." Every open space does not have to be filled with a rock, a plant or an ornament. Step back and look at each element that you incorporate. Make sure that each item compliments your whole design. This is the essence of the project.
Good Luck and Have Fun!
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Educational, not the Best for Inspiration 3 mars 2008
Par Greeper - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I bought a number of books on Japanese Gardens, because I like visiting them and wanted to make one of my own. I found this book to be more of a textbook than the rest; it is heavy on history and theory but is somewhat dull. If you want to be inspired, you probably don't want a book that uses endnotes. There is nothing wrong with it, but I found the Art of Japanese Gardens to be more balanced in terms of photos/inspiration and text. This is more thorough in terms of history and theory and less so with beautiful and varied photographs. In designing my own garden, I ultimately could have done without this book, though if you are fascinated by theory and history, it is probably the most comprehensive. If you're buying one book only to help inspire and educate, I'd go with the Art of Japanese Gardens.
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