[Showing tree structure]

Hanadaen, Koshigaya no.2


I would like to enjoy solving the crossword, which I mentioned in the previous article, finding borrowed elements from other classical Japanese gardens applied at various parts in Hanadaen like highlights of Kabuki (a classical Japanese dance-drama).

First clue is Katsura Rikyu, Kyoto, from which Nakajima (a designer of Hanadaen) borrowed an idea of Misaki Doro (a stone lantern symbolizing lighthouse by sea) setting at slightly above the water level of the pond. The shoreline at the east side of the pond has sharp finish with its straight line of cut stone like the one in front of Shoiken (a tea house in Katsura Rikyu). The appearance of maintenance road in Hanadaen is similar to the paddock in Katsurarikyu and Bamboo Groves in Saga, Kyoto.

Other clues include Kotoji Doro (A stone lantern in the shape of half tuner with long leg at one side and short leg at the other) from Kenrokuen, Kanagawa, a smaller version of wooden bridge in Kuribayashi Koen, Takamatsu, or Iris planting, a fountain and a stream from Korakuen, Okayama. Furthermore, I could find a series of circular stepping-stone are smaller scale version of Garyukyou in Heianjingu, Kyoto, and a stream being inspired by the one in Murinan, Kyoto designed by famous designer Jihe Ogawa, a stone bridge just in front of the waterfall resembling the one in Tenryuji, Kyoto, and vista toward from gazebo reminding me of the one in Rikugien, Tokyo.

Talking about tree planting, Nakajima put highlighted various parts of the Garden with trees like weeping cherry, Someiyoshino (most widely-used cultivar of cherry blossom tree in Japan), Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) or Keyaki tree (Zelkova setata) all of which have autumn color or spring flowers. There are Japanese black pine tree strongly pruned and planted by the pond and Japanese red pine with naturalistic pruning planted on the hill. Both pines are commonly seen in the Koshigaya area, which means it is reasonable selection matching with the climate and landscape.

I presume there would be more findings with further observation in detail in this garden. All of those intrigues sneakily quoting elements of iconic classical Japanese gardens and letting people in Koshigaya enjoy them should be a result of Nakajima’s hospitality coming from his deep knowledge about Japanese garden, flexibility, and warm personality.

The grandmaster was in his late 70’s when he designed this masterpiece. The Garden is filled with fresh and bright air, creating comfort space for visitors. On the other hand, I would not be surprised if Nakajima was not 100 percent satisfied with its finish as there were constrains of public landscape project especially in terms of construction where I can see some details done roughly. For instance, the level and proportion of shoreline, which always is his priority, looks unbalanced. This is perhaps because contractors tried to follow the plan from angles to lines lacking the flexibility of garden making project to adjust design finish fitting into the site gained experience during construction. On the other hand, the rock arrangement by the waterfall viewed from gazebo has strong expression not commonly seen in Nakajima’s design, which I presume a result of contractor’s passion to create something breathing at this site.

I wish if I could stroll around the garden with the designer or those who were associated with the construction projects talking about anecdotes from that time.

Yoshiki Toda

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