Tea Party In Tokyo

I have been travelling around Asia lately photographing gardens. The Japanese take the cake in the 21st century for their style And, the 4th. And, the 14th. They essentially have three types of gardens, most of the influences begins in 400AD with Buddha and they continued to finesse until the 14th century. Karesansui Gardens, or Zen Gardens as we refer to them in the West, are the dry gardens that are abstractions…the box of sand with rocks and the rake, you might recall? These are for meditation. And, of course they exist not only in the miniature you are familiar with. Tsukiyama Gardens are the style that really makes the gardeners of the East famous with the gardeners of the West. These are the majestic sculpted gardens. I will talk more of these later as I have visited one of the style in Tokyo. And, finally, Chaniwa Gardens. Tea Party Gardens. The fountain above is typical and the visitor is to cleanse his hands before partaking in the sacred green Tea Party. The fountain is followed by lanterns and the lanterns light a path and the path leads to a tea house that is generally kept amongst the flora and out of site. These are the gardens that support the Western decorations of towers of cemented lanterns and fountains and such that are curiosities of our garden supply shops. In Charleston, South Carolina we have many formal gardens that have such accoutrement in them. The Tea Party was all the rave in the colonies, brought to America vis a vis the Dutch who colonized New Amsterdam (New York). The Dutch had the most magnificent Eastern trade on the ocean and brought with them the tea. Think about a serene scene and not these very, very misguided and embarrassing rallies that are going on across the United States today. The influence of the Japanese Tea Garden is one of my favorites: peace and harmony in the pretty garden.

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